Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Ace swimmer George Bovell pleased with recent good form


George Bovell

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Trinidad and Tobago's top swimmer George Bovell believes his form is peaking post-Olympics because he overtrained a bit in preparation for the London Games.

Bovell, who placed seventh in the final of the 50m free in London 2012, said in his effort to make up for lost time after a vehicular accident in August 2011 that sidelined him for weeks with some damage to his brain, he pushed a bit too much.

Asked directly if he felt his form came on more after the Olympics, Bovell said: "Actually, yes. My Olympic season was an uphill battle from the start because if you remember I had to come back from a brain injury, where any exercise could have triggered the bruise on my brain to bleed, causing a stroke.

"During the recovery period I lost a tremendous amount of muscle and fitness and had to restart at zero. Then I think I made the common mistake of overtraining last season, training to the point where it was breaking my body down too much. This happened in May/June when I was training nine pool sessions plus three two-hour gym sessions per week in Michigan."

The ace T&T swimmer added: "However I have learned from this mistake, and it is some of that same work that I have done in the past then that is propelling me now to new best times and to number one and number two spots in the world rankings."

Bovell is currently in Oslo, Norway trying to get a visa for China, continuing his training and hanging out with friends, Norwegian Olympic swimmer Gard Kvale and World Championship bronze medallist Alex Hetland.

The 29-year-old 2004 Athens Olympic bronze medallist, who missed the Pan Am Games in Mexico last year because of the injury, is now ranked second fastest ever in the 50m free behind 2008 Olympic champion Cesar Cielo of Brazil. His 50m free time of 20.82 at the Stockholm, Sweden leg of the FINA/Arena World Cup is even faster than 2000 Olympic champion Anthony Ervin's American record in Berlin when Bovell was second.

Bovell's 51.20 second 100m Individual Medley time in Berlin last week is the fastest in the world this year, and the second fastest performance ever in a textile suit.

Ahead of the Beijing leg of the FINA/Arena World Cup that splashes off on November 2 and 3, Bovell said his training is being mixed with some recovery time in Oslo.

"At this stage it's not a matter of preparations, that was done way back right after the Olympics when I got straight back into training. The tour has taken its toll on me with five competitions in two weeks, plus travelling and handling all the logistics myself as I am doing this alone.

"I plan to let my body heal and recover, just to do maintenance work in the pool and some heavy lifting in the gym over the next week before heading to China on October 28 to overcome the jetlag, in time to compete on the November 2nd and 3rd. I imagine that the next set of consecutive meets will also be arduous and want to go in as healthy and as rested as possible," he stated.

The final two legs of the FINA/Arena World Cup series take place in Tokyo, Japan (November 6-7) and Singapore (November 10-11).

After the conclusion of the FINA/Arena World Cup series, Bovell will to splash into action at the FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships in Turkey that starts December 12.

To date Bovell has won six silver and four gold medals in his campaign.