Jamaica’s team to the the 2019 World Swimming Championships will consist of Olympian Alia Atkinson, Michael Gunning and making his debut at this Championship Keanan Dols. Keanan will be competing in the 100 metre butterfly and 200 metre individual medley events.
Though Dols will be making his first splash at the Long Course World Championships he is no stranger to competing at the global level having swum at the 2015 World Junior Championships in Singapore and the 2016 World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor Canada.
Keanan had been a standout swimmer for Jamaica at the in the junior ranks has been coming into his own in senior waters.
|200 metre backstroke||2:03.05|
|200 metre butterfly||2:03.27|
|200 metre IM||2:07.04|
|400 metre IM||4:35.69|
One indication of him making that transition was his performance at last year’s CAC (Central American and Caribbean Games) in Barranquilla Colombia. In the 100 metre butterfly he swam to new personal best to earn second place in the B final with a time of 54.74. That swim was not far off the 2015 national record held by Justin Plaschka.
Earlier in the competition he lowered the 1984 national record of 2:05.63 Olympian Andrew Phillips when he placed fourth in the 200 individual medley ,his best senior level performance to date.
Draftingthecaribbean contacted Dols and asked him how competing at the 2015 World Junior Swimming championships and 2016 World Short Championships
” Those meets have prepared me for this summers world championships by providing experience in what it’s like at a major international meet racing against the best in the world. They provided experience with handling travel and ensuring that I’ve prepared myself well through recovery “.
He also gave insight into big time drops at the CAC Games in 2018
” The time drops in my events last summer were a culmination of really the two years prior. The 2017 summer wasn’t my best and I didn’t see improvement in my times other than in the 200 IM. The improvements I saw in my fly events last summer were the result of an increased focus on training and racing butterfly after shifting slightly away from focusing on backstroke. The 200 IM improvements came from a massive improvement in my breaststroke split as well as a shift in race strategy. Breastroke is not my greatest stroke and in practice we’ve put a lot of emphasis on getting better at it to help out my IM races. My split this past summer was a 35.5 and in past years it’s been 37-38. For the race strategy I’ve learned I need to relax a bit more on the first 100 in order to finish the second 100 stronger. My first 100 last summer was a bit slower than it was even back in 2016 but the second hundred was almost 4 seconds faster. Putting up the times I did last summer was a great confidence boost. Getting my first worlds B time was one of my goals last summer and accomplishing that in the 200 IM was incredibly fulfilling. It shows me that I’m on the right track and that I’m doing the right things in and out of the pool in order to be successful”.
Keanan has made the decision to red shirt next season at the University of Pennsylvania in the NCAA Division I to focus on training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Dols spoke about his team and why it was a good move to achieve his goals
” I have been training in Gainesville, Florida with the University of Florida postgraduate group under Gregg Troy and Robert Pinter. Members of the group include American Olympic Gold medallists Caeleb Dressel and Ryan Lochte, Corey Main of New Zealand, Mitch D’Arrigo, Tom Peribonio of Ecuador, Alberto Mestre of Venezuela, Enzo Martinez Scarpe, True Sweetster and Colombian Santi Corredor. Everyone in the group has the goal of qualifying for the Olympics whether it be for the US, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, or Uruguay. I felt it was important to train in an environment with like minded individuals who are all high achieving and share similar goals. Swimming alongside such high achieving athletes allows me to compete against them every day at practice as well as learn from them and see what they do day in and day out that makes them great. Gregg Troy is one of the best in the world having worked with numerous Olympians throughout his career including our very own Janelle Atkinson. The detail oriented environment that he creates combined with the effort you need to bring to practice every day is exactly what I need to be successful in the lead up to 2020″.