Olympian Alex Sobers (Rio 2016) added a second senior national record to his name when he lowered the more than decade old record of 1:52.30 in the 200 metre freestyle held by Olympian Bradley Ally (Athens 2004,Beijing 2008,and London 2012).
Sobers powered his way to a time of 1:51.87 in the 4 lap event to place 20th overall. That swim was also the number 1 CARIFTA region performance in the event at the Commonwealth Games held in Gold Coast Australia. The previous fastest Barbadian performance at the Commonwealth Games was by another Olympian Damian Alleyne (Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004) at the 2002 Manchester Games who recorded a time of 1:53.61.
He would record another personal best and put the 100 metre freestyle record on notice when he stopped the clock in a time of 51.12 (split time 24.59). The national record stands at 50.40 to Shawn Clarke in 2009.
It was also the fastest time by a swimmer from Barbados at the Commonwealth Games as he bettered Alleyne’s 2002 effort of 52.48. Sobers was second fastest swimmer from the region placing 29th. It would be a hattrick of personal bests as he clocked 23.75 in the 50 metre freestyle to place 28th.
Alex recently earned the honour of being named the Male Athlete of the Year for his school Emmanuel College at the annual 4th Annual Leo Athletic Awards for his accomplishments which included being
- a Six time Sun Coast Swimming Conference Champion
- a Nine time Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Champion
- Having an undefeated 26-0 dual meet record
- Being the holder of Seven school records
- Earning NCAA National Championship qualifying times in 9 different events this season
- His performance at the 2017 World Aquatic Championships
- His national record breaking performance at the 2018 Commonwealth Games
When draftingthecaribbean got in touch with the record holder on April 26th he spoke about the 200 metre race and expectations heading into the competition
” I felt really good before the 200 free because I was confident in the training I put in .The heat had James Guy (2015 World champion in the event) in it so that really gave me a good push to do a best time. I didn’t necessarily set expectations for the meet .I was really excited to go Australia. The atmosphere was really exciting ,it was my first big (multisport) games since the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Coach at the Commonwealth Games Aisha Norville also spoke to draftingthecaribbean and gave her impressions of Sobers personal best swims and the outlook for her nation heading to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“Alex gave a commendable performance at the Games. His focus will shift to the Cac games where it is hoped that he makes a few finals.Looking towards 2020 I believe swimming in Barbados should be well represented but it’s still a bit early to say because a lot can still happen in 2 years. Jack Kirby continues to improve extremely well in his backstroke events and I’m sure he would be looking for an ‘A’ qualifying time for Tokyo. As for Alex I believe he would want to convert his ‘B’ time from Rio as a then 16 year old to an ‘A’ time. Barbados would also have backstroker Danielle Titus and Luis Sebastian Weekes aiming for qualifying times for Tokyo”