As draftingthecaribbean continues to highlight the top performances of swimmers from the region we look the performance of Bahamian Victoria Russell who made her first international final in the 100 metre breaststroke at the Commonwealth Youth Games in her home country.

The swimming competition ran from July 19 to July 22 at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre. Russell competed in the 50 metre butterfly and 50 metre breaststroke races before her historic swim .She was just outside of making the finals with personal best time of 28.93 for 10th place and 34.40 for 9th place.

Victoria Russell
Victoria Russell finalist in the women’s 100 metre breaststroke at the Commonwealth Youth Games

She would make no mistake in the 100 metre breaststroke shattering her personal best time of 1:17.23 with a 1:14.75 to book her place in the final with teammate Lilly Higgs. In the final on Friday July 21 she was just off that time placing 8th in 1:14.82.Victoria would end the competition with another tenth placing finishing 10th in another personal best time of 27.33.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Victoria on July 27 she gave her thoughts on the build-up to the race and then the Championship final

At first I was rather surprised because in the 50 metre breaststroke I was first alternate and it was by a mere 3 hundredths of a second it was so close. I was upset that I did not get to swim the 50 breaststroke final. So going into the 100 the next day I was really focused on making the final. I honestly thought the prelims were better than the finals because in the final I was the 8th seed so I had no one to the left side of me so I was only in the race at one perspective. So I went out with the majority of the field. As I turned and looked to see the race I saw quite a few ahead of me and that discouraged me a bit from swimming my best  because I was going against a number of good competitors think that played on me a bit mentally.”

She also spoke about what she has learnt from this experience

“The thing I learnt the most is seeing how dedicated the swimmers were in terms of how they were getting ready for their races and their preparation compared to what I was doing and I saw how I could improve on that”.

Victoria also spoke about her plans for next season

I will be trying to make the Commonwealth Games team (Gold Coast Queensland Australia April 4 to 18, 2018). If not hopefully I will be aiming for the CARIFTA team that will be held in Jamaica next year”.





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