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Swimmers targeting top times

Fletcher has qualified for the Pan Am Games in Toronto in July

The Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association’s Long Course National Championships got under way yesterday at the Aquatic Centre, National Sports Centre.

Sanctioned by Fina, the world governing body for aquatics, the meet’s results will be recognised for qualification purposes for both this year’s World Championships and the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Ben Smith, the Bermuda head coach, said that several overseas swimmers had expressed an interest in competing in the event, which would help to boost the competition.

Sponsored by Validus, the four-day event represents the last opportunity for several Bermuda swimmers to meet the qualifying standard for the World Championships to be held in Kazan, Russia, this summer.

“There are two local swimmers, Julian Fletcher and Lisa Blackburn, who have already qualified for the Pan American Games in Toronto in July,” Smith added. “We are hopeful that they and others make a World Championships qualification time at this meet.”

Bernie Asbell, the interim CEO of the NSC, said: “This meet represents the second competition at the NSC using a 50-metre format and we anticipate having this meet replicate the success of last year.

“The timing equipment has been thoroughly tested, the facility is in great shape and we are delighted that BASA are partnering with us to host its national championships.”