March 08, 2021
Bahamian swimmer Izaak Bastian swam his first long course race competitively in over a year over the weekend and he did not disappoint as he swam his way to a new national record in the men’s 200 meters (m) breaststroke. The performance came at the Bahamas Aquatics Federation’s Last Chance Meet at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Aquatic Centre.
The meet, which was originally the final CARIFTA qualifier meet for the federation, had some good swims as Grand Bahama clubs flew into New Providence and performed well. The CARIFTA swim team was to be named yesterday but with CARIFTA Aquatics Championships not having any update, the junior swimmers will look to continue to lower their times in preparation for the big meet.
Bastian, who swam for the Barracuda Swim Club, was able to lower his own national record in the men’s 200m breast, swimming 2:16.07 to erase the old record of 2:17.78 – more than a second faster. With that swim, the former decorated junior swimmer now has the highest FINA (International Swimming Federation) male points for The Bahamas as he battles for a spot with second-place Jared Fitzgerald to represent The Bahamas at the Tokyo Summer Olympics later this year. Bastian was the only senior swimmer in that race.
“I had a better 200m breast. I was not prepared for it as well as I wanted to… still got up and race, did what I wanted to do and closer to what I wanted to do in the 200m breast. I cannot complain but there is still some work to do,” Bastian said.
The Bahamian collegiate swimmer at Florida State University (FSU) said it will be interesting to see who makes it to the Olympics as he and his friends battle for a spot, but in the end, it’s all love between them as to who gets the spot.
In the senior men’s 100m breaststroke on Saturday, Bastian was .19 seconds away from making the Olympic ‘B’ cut when he clocked a personal best time of 1:01.92. The Olympic ‘B’ time is 1.01.73. His previous personal best was 1:02.41.
“I’m not that happy with it,” Bastian said. “I wanted to be a little bit faster but after conference and traveling here, have me riding on a tight rope. It is hard to do, especially when you haven’t done long course all year and to come into long course is a big challenge. I did not have any race strategy or anything, and I did not know what I was walking into pain-wise, so it was a bit of a surprise. I definitely wanted to be faster and I guess right now, I have to take it because I cannot do anything else.”
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