San Juan – Eight Puerto Rican swimmers were active this weekend in various competitions in the United States, two of them are seeking to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Three Puerto Ricans participated in the 2020 Toyota US Open Championships-Compiled in Greensboro, North Carolina. One of them was the Central American double medalist Yeziel Morales. The swimmer from the Club Caparra Country Club swam 200 and 100 meters backstroke. In the first race he finished with a time of 2: 01.68. While in the 100 meters back he registered 56.24 seconds.
“This is my first competition since the beginning of March. I felt like I swam well. I lost many details due to lack of competition, for example, in the 200 backstroke (back) I made the turns wrong. Little by little the rhythm is picked up, ”said the holder of the national brand in the 200-meter backstroke, 2: 00.27, held at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.
The former Inter-American University swimmer in the Interuniversity Athletic League is training with Azura Florida Aquatics in Sarasota, Florida with the mentality of qualifying for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the 200 back event (1).
“We remain focused on seeking qualification for Tokyo. I am not the same pre-quarantine athlete as I am now. I left the sport 100% in the pool. Five months without swimming where we were doing physical work so we couldn’t get chubby. I learned to separate who I am, and who I am as an athlete. I matured a lot as an athlete thanks to the pandemic ”, emphasized the bronze medalist in 200 backstroke in the Central American and Caribbean Games Veracruz 2014 and Barranquilla 2018.
For his part, the also double Central American medalist Veracruz 2014 and Barranquilla 2018, Christian Bayo swam three events. The first of them was the 800 meters freestyle ending with a time of 8: 21.56, where he has the best mark and national record 8: 08.78 made in 2019. The athlete from the Encantada Swimming Club seeks the Olympic mark in the 800 meters. In the 400 free meters he closed the race with a time of 4: 02.30 and in the 1500 free meters he had a time of 15: 52.94.
For the president of the FPN, Fernando Delgado, the performances of Puerto Ricans in the United States fill him with enthusiasm.
“We are very happy with the participation of our athletes after not competing for so long. The light is being seen at the end of the road in times of great uncertainty due to the pandemic. Plans for 2021 are beginning to parallel the projects in Puerto Rico, ”Delgado said.
Another athlete who was present at the same event as Morales y Bajó was Víctor Rosado. He improved his personal best in the 200-meter butterfly. The athlete from the Ponce Leones Swimmers Club and the Interamerican University timed 2: 02.49 updating his time of 2: 04.81 with which he was seeded to the race.
Stand Out in FHSAA Championships
At the youth and university level, several Puerto Ricans were in competitions under the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHAA) State Championship.
Miguel Cancel, a swimmer under the Puerto Rican Swimming Federation, was the most outstanding athlete for his Gulliver Prep school during the FHAA 2A, where they were crowned champions. The young Puerto Rican stopped the clock at 1: 48.25 in the 200-meter medley, two seconds before Daniel Orcutt of Fort Walton Beach (1: 50.40) to win the match. Cancel also edged Bayshore TC Smith 4: 24.99 to 4: 25.33 to clinch the 500-meter freestyle title.
Miguel Sierra, representing the Cutler Bay Academy of Advanced clubs and the Guaynabo City Mets, competed in four events measured in yard, improving all his FHAA 1A records. In the back 50 he finished with 24.39 seconds versus 24.76 seconds in the preliminary; in 100 back he made 50.78 versus 58.88 seconds (preliminary); in 500 butterflies he stopped the clock at 22.20 versus 22:40 seconds (preliminary); and, in 100 butterfly performed 47.93 versus 48.12 seconds (preliminary).
Kevin Collazo of Trinity Preparatory School and the Guaynabo City Mets also had a productive run in three events measured in FHSAA 1A yards: in 50 butterfly with a time of 24.63 seconds; 100 butterfly with a record of 52.62 seconds; and, 200 combined stopping the clock at 1: 57.09.
Chance Conde, a swimmer from Indiana River State College and the Guaynabo City Mets, competed in the FHSAA 3A winning the 500-yard free (4: 29.76) and fifth-place 200-yard free (1: 42.46) titles.
For his part, Josean Massucco featured at Baylor School in Chattanoaga, Tennessee and from the Loyola Club swam in the 2020 Red Gray Intrasquad Meet, in Chattanooga, Tennessee the events of 200 combined (1: 52.93) that makes 2: 08.55 a pool of 50 meters, 100 butterfly (51.46 seconds) his conversion is 58.52 and 500 (4: 38.23) is equivalent to 4:08, all in yards.
In the United States, high schools and several universities swim their events in yards. During the season they change their athletes to the measure of meters, which is the one used in international competitions under federated organizations and attached to Olympism.