Thu | Jan 24, 2019

Dolis gets green light from 1984 Olympic finalist

Published:Saturday | August 11, 2018 | 12:19 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

When Keanan Dols swam his way into the 200 metres individual medley final at the recent Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, he broke a Jamaican record that had stood for 34 years. Andrew Phillips, who set the old mark in the 1984 Olympic final, says that Dols could be the swimmer to boost Jamaica's fortunes in the pool on the men's side.

Dols, a student-athlete at the University of Pennsylvania, moved past the Phillips mark with a swim of two minutes 04.00 seconds in the CAC Games heats and then went faster - 2.03.66 - in the final for fourth. Phillips, who clocked two minutes 05.60 seconds for sixth place in the 1984 final, is overjoyed for the youngster.

"I think he has a bright future ahead of him," he said yesterday. " I'd say, at least, a minimum of eight to nine years of swimming", the 56-year-old Phillips estimated, "so that would give him 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games, and I'm hoping he will be that spark that Jamaica perhaps needs on the boys' side, so I think it's very promising."

The man who also set the still-standing national 400 metres individual medley record at the same 1984 Games has high hopes for the 19 year-old Dols.

 

'Lot of talent'

 

"He has a lot of talent based on what I'm reading, so I'm very happy to see that", said the 1986 CAC Games 200 individual medley runner-up.

Even though he is the first Jamaican swimmer to reach an Olympic final, he looks forward to even bigger things for Dolis.

"The only thing I can probably say to him is, young man, stay humble, whatever you're doing, stay humble, humble, stay dedicated, be honest", he encouraged, "and have it in your heart and your head to know that if you want to be the first to actually win that medal for Jamaica, you have green lights ahead of you."

Phillips believes that Dols can look ahead optimistically. "Believe in yourself", he exhorted, "and believe in what you're doing, and I'm sure better will come."