first sub-21: George Bovell

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GOLD AGAIN!

Bovell in record 50 free swim at Sweden World Cup

GEORGE BOVELL picked up a gold medal for the second straight day when winning the men's 50 metres freestyle event in 20.82 seconds, on the second day of the FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup, in Stockholm, Sweden, yesterday.

The Trinidad and Tobago swimmer also earned gold on Saturday when capturing the 100m individual medley title in a national record time of 51.56 seconds.

Yesterday, Bovell produced his first-ever sub-21 swim and set a new national short course record, the 20.82 seconds effort giving him gold--ahead of Anthony Ervin of the United States (20.99)–in the 50m sprint. Australia's Matthew Targett touched third in 21.15. Another Aussie, Kenneth To was fourth in 21.47 seconds.

Bovell went into yesterday's 50m final as the fourth fastest qualifier. He won heat six in 21.86 seconds, beating Sweden's Stefan Nystrand (21.92) into second spot. Ervin was the fastest qualifier when winning heat seven in 21.48. To (21.55) was second and Finland's Ari-Pekka Liukkoken (21.60), third.

Both Bovell and Ervin broke the 21-second barrier for the very first time in yesterday's final. The American finished fifth in the same event at the 2012 London Olympics, while Bovell was seventh.

"Gold in the 50m Freestyle tonight at the FINA World Cup! New lifetime best and national record. 20.82," Bovell said on his twitter account. "We just smashed through the 21 seconds barrier. This rivalry is getting red hot. I couldn't do it alone."

Bovell has now picked up six medals in three World Cup meets, having netted silver in both the 50 free and 100 IM in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Doha, Qatar.

The FINA World Cup is a global circuit of two-day meets, all swum in short course (25-metre) pools. Swimmers compete for cash prizes, with winners earning US$1,500 each. Second is worth US$1,000, while third-place finishers take home US$500.

The overall circuit winners–men and women–at the end of the eight-meet series, next month, will earn US$100,000 each.

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu and Ukraine's Daryna Zevina are tied for the overall women's lead, while To is at the top of the men's standings.

The versatile Hosszu collected eight more medals in Sweden. She was first in the 200m, 400m and 800m free, and 100m, 200m and 400m IM, and got silver in the 200m backstroke and 200m butterfly. She has earned a total of 24 medals in the first three legs of the World Cup.

The fourth leg will be held in Moscow, Russia on Wednesday and Thursday.

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