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Jack Harvey on verge of Olympics after hitting BOA standard

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Jack Harvey hits BOA Olympic standard in London

Swimmer Jack Harvey is on the cusp of being confirmed as Bermuda’s latest Olympian after meeting the Bermuda Olympic Association’s qualifying standard in the 100 metres backstroke.

Competing in the Adam Peaty International meet in London, Harvey went inside the BOA’s qualifying time of 55.35sec when stopping the clock at 55.19 in the preliminaries yesterday morning.

The time means Harvey will compete in Paris this summer providing no other Bermudian male swimmer hits a BOA qualifying time before the deadline ends next month. If another athlete does hit a requisite mark, the one male Olympic spot will be decided by whomever has the highest amount of FINA points.

While Harvey may have to wait a month for official confirmation, it is unlikely there will be another swimmer hitting the required mark, and the youngster is thrilled to be on the verge of realising his dreams.

“It’s unbelievable,” Harvey said. “Everyone who swims from a young age knows that the pinnacle of swimming is going to the Olympics. For us, it’s like being in the World Cup final or playing in the Champions League.

“It’s the biggest stage in swimming and something that I have dreamed about since I was a little kid. I’ve been swimming since I was seven and that’s the thing you look to at such a young age and to be one step closer to that is a dream come true.

“Nothing is final and nothing is certain until June 23 but I knew that if I got the consideration time I would have a really good shot of making the Olympics. I’m definitely dreaming of it now.”

With time running out in his attempt to secure the BOA time standards, Harvey knew this event represented one of his last few chances to achieve his ambition of being in Paris.

“It’s a surreal feeling and something I haven’t felt in a really long time,” Harvey said.

“These times have been out since May 2023 and I didn’t really have the best season last year. I knew I needed to hit this time if I wanted to go to Paris and it’s all I’ve been thinking about for the last year.

“Coming in, I knew I was only going to have a couple more cracks at it and each time you miss it just adds more pressure. Now that I’ve got it it’s a huge relief.

“My previous best time was 55.70 and I did a meet in Atlanta the previous weekend, where I did a 55.57, and the consideration time was 55.35 so I had to take another 0.22 off.”

During the race, Harvey had the sense that he was close to qualifying and it helped that he had Olympic medal-winner Luke Greenback in the lane next to him.

“I surprised myself by beating the time by that much and I felt like I had a perfect swim,” Harvey said.

“It’s not always like that but I had a feeling I was going pretty well as I had a guy next to me, Luke Greenback, who has won two Olympic medals and he was right next to me.

“He wasn’t fully rested or anything like that but i was beating him at the 50 and I could see him next to me in the second 50. I knew he was not going to go slower than 55, so I knew if I was right next to him I’d have a pretty good shot.

“It’s hard in backstroke because you can’t see the other swimmers easily. In freestyle you can breathe to the side, but in backstroke you can only see the roof but I could see Luke in my peripherals. When I got into the final 25 metres and saw him next to me it was a real boost for me.”

Harvey could yet be joined in the Paris team by his sister, Emma, who is mightily close to achieving the BOA consideration time in the same event.

“Emma was at this meet too and was only 0.2 off the consideration time in the 100 back, so she is really close as well and her PB is only 0.09 off the time.

“She’s been unlucky and had to take a couple of weeks off with sickness, but it’s positive that she has recovered well from that and is again really close to making the cut.

“She is going to a meet in Barcelona in a couple of days and she will have another crack at it. I’ll be watching the live stream of her race and cheering for her. If both of us were to go, it’s the only thing better than just me going.”

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Published May 28, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated May 29, 2024 at 8:14 am)

Jack Harvey on verge of Olympics after hitting BOA standard

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