Another best for Shaune

| 13/08/2008

(CNS): Cayman’s Shaune Fraser swam another personal best at the Beijing Olympics finishing his 100-metre freestyle heat in 49.56 seconds, down from 49.96 seconds from his previous best set the Pan Am Games in Brazil last summer.

Fraser placed fourth in heat five and ranked 36 out of 64 swimmers. But like his race in the 200-metre freestyle two days before. Only the top 16 swimmers made it into the semi-finals.

"It was my new personal best so I can’t be mad about that," Fraser told Cayman Islands Olympic Committee journalist Shurna Robbins. "I know a lot of these guys like to take it out really fast. I like to bring it home a little faster, so I conserve my energy in the first 50 and then give it all I have in the second 50."

"That was a great swim from Shaune," said Cayman Swimming Coach Dominic Ross. "He dropped four-tenths of a second off his best time and he looked real strong in the water, so we looked forward to the next swim."

Trinidad & Tobago’s George Bovell, who became the English-speaking Caribbean’s first swimming Olympic medallist when he won bronze in the 200-metre Individual Medley in Athens, won his heat and also produced a career-best swim of 48.83 in the 100m freestyle, chopping more than a second off his previous best of 49.95 seconds in this event. However, this was also not fast enough for a semi-final spot.

Aruba’s Jan Roodzant won the second heat in 51.69 seconds but was considerably off the qualifying range. Bermuda’s Roy-Allan Burch finished fifth in heat two in 52.65 seconds, while Barbadian Terrence Haynes (50.50) was third in heat three. The finals of the Men’s 100m Freestyle will be on Thursday.

Fraser’s next and final event is the 100-metre butterfly (heat 2) on Thursday, where he will be competing with American superstar Michael Phelps. "Obviously, Michael is going to be the greatest athlete that has ever swam, but I am definitely not intimidated by him," said Fraser. "I know that I have got to do a couple things a bit better and train a little harder. This is not one of my best events so I am just looking to have fun with it.”

Phelps became the Olympics’ all-time gold medal leader Wednesday with two more wins at the National Aquatics Center — one by himself in the 200-meter butterfly and one as part of the United States’ winning 4×200-meter freestyle relay team, making a total of five golds so far in Beijing and 11 altogether.


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