Personal best for Mitchell, rocky start for Martin as Pan Am swimming gets under way

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By Neto Baptiste

Female swimmer Bianca Mitchell clocked a personal best while reigning sportsman of the year Lleyton Martin got off to a shaky start as swimming got underway at the ongoing Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on Wednesday.

Competing in the 200 meters freestyle, Mitchell clocked two minutes and 18.70 seconds (2:18.70) to finish second from amongst three competitors. Although competitive, her time does not put her into the finals of the event.

The young Antiguan was however upbeat about her performance.

“I did really good; I am happy with how I raced. I died on the last 50 [meters] but it was good, I am happy with it and I beat my time by two seconds. Tomorrow [Thursday] I will race in the 200 freestyle and in my 200 split, my 100, I got 1:05 which is one second off my PB

[personal best]

so hopefully I can beat that tomorrow,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Martin posted a time of 58:28 to finish at the back of the pack in the 200 meters boys’ competition. He admitted it was not his best performance in the pool.

“It wasn’t the best race for me honestly. The first 50 meters was fine; the second 50, I swallowed water first breath so that really messed up my tempo … so I just have to focus the next time I race … Next, I have the same race, the 100 meters freestyle and I am hoping for a better race this time and hopefully my first PB,” he said. 

Coach Wayne Mitchell said both athletes gave their best effort given the level of competition.

“It’s a big stage for them and their first time coming out on such a huge stage. They were both extremely nervous and I think that affected their performance a lot but the cobwebs are off now and they should be ready to go tomorrow [Thursday]. Now, they know what to expect because it’s always hard to get that first one out of the way,” he said.

The swimmers will compete in the 100 meters freestyle today.

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