Trinidad and Tobago star George Bovell's valiant effort to reel in Australian Kenneth To on the final stretch of the eight-leg FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup 2012 series yesterday failed when he was edged into second by the overall men's competition leader in the 100m individual medley final on the first day of the eighth and final meet of the series in Singapore.
Bovell will end the World Cup as winner of the US$50,000 second-prize and now seeks to end the series on high with a win in the today's 50m free-style final.
"Had to settle for a close second to Aussie Kenneth To tonight," Bovell tweeted yesterday. "He has consistently put together great races and deserves his overall win. Its not every night you swim a race with that much to lose riding on it. Felt so tired and sore before. When I think about it now, I laugh."
Yesterday's win all but confirmed the 20-year-old Australian as winner of the US$100,000 in prizemoney which is awarded to the overall winner of the eight-city swimming marathon. Entrants have competed in two-days meets, swum over a two-month period in eight countries: United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Russia, Germany, Sweden, China, Japan and Singapore. The second-placed finisher receives US$50,000, while third-prize is US$30,000.
To won his fifth gold medal in the series and also produced the best performance of the day yesterday, when winning the 100m IM in a blistering 51.50 seconds. Bovell came in second in 51.69. South African Darian Townsend (53.32) was third and Australian Kyle Richardson fourth (53.59). .
Going into yesterday's event, To was the overall men's leader with 145 points, Bovell was second with 125 and Japanese Daiyo Seta was third on 97. With the Singapore meet offering double points, Bovell hoped to overhaul To by winning both his pet events, the 100m IM and the 50m freestyle. But, second is not bad at all.
"One Trini alone against the world." Bovell tweeted. "Looking like I secured second place overall. A challenge to future generations."
Meanwhile, the Australian was elated at hitting the jackpot with his fifth 100 individual medley win in the eight-event World Cup circuit, capping a fine series after the disappointment of missing selection for the London Olympics. To will become only the second Australian to win a lucrative overall World Cup title, with Marieke Guehrer winning the women's series in 2008.
"I'm feeling over the moon," To told AP newswire. "To come away with the final win in the 100 IM and to score maximum points here in Singapore, it's a major relief and I'm very proud of what I've achieved. I knew I had a chance of coming away with the top prize and after eight stops it's happened and I guess I just can't be any happier."