Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Wynter following Atkinson's lead

Published:Sunday | August 7, 2016 | 8:00 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil:

He had to endure a nervous wait to see if he would, in fact, make the cut for the Rio Olympic Games, but now that he is here, Jamaican swimmer Timothy Wynter is looking to make the most of his opportunity when he gets started in the pool today.

Wynter, who at one point held all backstroke records in Jamaica, will contest the first heat of the 100m backstroke event at the Olympics Aquatics Stadium starting at 2:16 p.m. (12:16 p.m. Jamaica time).

It's not his first time at a major international event, after competing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. He has also swam at the youth Olympic Games, the Short Course World Championships and the FINA World Junior Championships.

Wynter, who holds the short and long course national records in the 50m and 100m backstroke, has been working closely with top Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson and her coach, Chris Anderson, and says he is pleased with his preparation going into today's test.

PREPARATION GOING GREAT

"Preparation-wise everything has been going great. I'm very familiar with Chris Anderson and Alia Atkinson, so that has worked well," said Wynter.

He underlines the value of training alongside Atkinson and believes her experience will make his maiden Olympic swim a positive one.

"It certainly helps to have Alia here. Alia and Chris know the ropes and Alia has been to four Olympic Games, so that is a lot of experience that I can benefit from. I've been following their lead. They have been a great inspiration as well," said Wynter.

Wynter qualified on a B standard time - 57.47, but was only confirmed weeks ago after the qualifying and registration checks and balances were confirmed.

"Getting the qualifying time was my main focus for the last year or so. It was a motivation, and being able to do that time going into Rio was definitely a confidence booster and now I'm feeling good about competing and racing here," said Wynter, who says he is hoping to improve his time at these Games.

andre.lowe@gleanerjm.com