Upbeat Ally!Barbados’ Bradley Ally competing in the men’s 100-metre backstroke at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park yesterday. ((AP Photo))
By Sherrylyn A. Toppin | Mon, July 30, 2012 - 12:05 AM
LONDON – Seemingly in a much better frame of mind than Saturday morning, Bradley Ally is looking forward to his pet event, the 200 metres individual medley.
After winning his heat of the men’s 100 metres backstroke yesterday, Ally had a smile and said he would be taking it step-by-step, but was aiming for a place in Wednesday’s final.
Like the men’s 400 metres individual medley, winning a heat wasn’t enough to get him into the last 16. His time of 56.27 seconds was off the qualifying time of 55.88, but he put it in perspective.
“The more swims I get under my belt, the more I get into the meet and it is setting me up for the 200IM. I’m feeling a bit sharper and I am just enjoying myself,” he told NATIONSPORT.
“It was pretty good. I felt good coming home and I wasn’t as tired as I thought I would be. I just have to keep my composure and enjoy the meet as it goes along.”
Under the tutelage of coach Josh White, Ally attended a preparation camp in Gijon, Spain, prior to arriving in London last Tuesday. He has been getting in his sessions at the Aquatics Centre and in a pool close to the Athletes’ Village.
In Beijing, Ally reached the semi-finals in the 200 individual medley and is looking to improve on that performance here.
He said the 400 individual medley, which was twice as long, and the backstroke for speed, set him up well for what is to come.
“I think it is a good combination going into 200 IM. I just have to maintain my composure and have a bit of confidence and I should be all right. Essentially, I will take one step at a time to get to the semi-finals and if I get to the semi-finals, see how far I can push it from there.”
Trinidadian George Bovell also competed in the men’s 100 metres backstroke and won his heat, new national record of 55.22 seconds, down from 55.65. He indicated that race was part of the preparation for his main event, the men’s 50 metres freestyle, on Friday.
World leader Matthew Grevers of the United States had the fastest qualifying time of 52.92 seconds, the only swimmer to go sub-53.
Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson was the lone Caribbean swimmer advancing to the semi-finals. Placing tenth overall in the women’s 100 metres breaststroke, Atkinson clocked 1:07.39 to win the third heat.
She will have to go faster to reach the top eight, with Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania leading all qualifiers with 1:05.56.
“When I qualified I was 17th coming in which is one spot out [of the semi-finals], and I knew I had to drop some time and I guess I did enough,” she said.
Atkinson added that she felt more confident going into the semi-finals because she swam better in the evening and was pleased to get the chance to do so.
“I have a longer pull out, but I get caught because they have a quicker stroke rate. The plan is to stay ahead and bring it home the last 50,” she added.
St Lucia’s Danielle Beaubrun was 36th out of 46 competitors in 1:11.12.
No Caribbean swimmers will be in the pool today.
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