Saint Lucia’s participation in the 16th FINA World Championships ended on Friday in Kazan, Russia, with both of the island’s young swimmers in action.
Both would have been gunning for personal best times and national records. For one of the two, achieving those goals would likely have put him in position to become just the second swimmer ever from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States to qualify for the Olympics Games.
Jordan Augier climbed into the pool for the first event of day six, the men’s 50-metre freestyle. The 19-year-old had been agonisingly short of an Olympic berth during competition at the recent Pan Am Games. This time, he was drawn in lane seven Heat 8 of 12.
Improving on his reaction time off the blocks from Pan Am (0.68 seconds), Jordan got off to the start he needed to give himself an opportunity to swim under the B qualifying time standard for the Rio Olympics, 23.05 seconds. He covered the first half of the race in under 10 seconds, and appeared on course to swim under 23 seconds.
Unfortunately, Jordan ended in 23.30, sixth in his heat and 43rd overall of 113 swimmers.
Also competing on Friday morning, Joshua Runako Daniel stepped up in lane nine, Heat 2 of 8 in the men’s 100-metre butterfly. Runako finished sixth in his heat and 59th overall, but he ended with a time of 57.66 seconds, a personal best mark and a new national record.
Both young men will now take a couple weeks off and will return to their respective universities at the end of the month to begin the final year of preparation toward the hopes of qualifying for the Rio Olympics next summer.
The Saint Lucia Amateur Swimming Association is set to be represented at one more championship meet for the year, coming up in December. This will be the last chance to qualify for Rio.