By Sharon Robb
June 30, 2016—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Timothy Wynter of Jamaica made his Olympic “B” cut with three days to spare Thursday night at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships in Nassau.
Wynter, 19, finished second in the 18-and-under 100-meter backstroke in a lifetime-best and national record 56.15, under the “B” cut of 56.26. The “A” cut is 54.36.
Wynter, a freshman at University of Southern California, shaved 0.83 seconds off his previous best of 56.98 and will be joining SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson on the Jamaican Olympic team and SOFLO teammate Jorge Murillo Valdes of Colombia in Rio.
Dylan Carter, 19, of Trinidad and Tobago won the backstroke event in 56.05.
The FINA qualifying period to make time standards for the 2016 Olympics runs from March 1, 2015 through July 3, 2016.
As a refresher on qualifying, for a country to qualify two swimmers in an event, both swimmers must beat the designated “A” cut time.
Otherwise, a country will be held to just one swimmer in the event if one meets the “B” cut, or is brought in on a “universality” placement up to 900 total athletes. Wynter is Jamaica’s best backstroker.
Wynter won the non-Olympic event 50-meter backstroke in 26.47, also a best time, bettering his previous best of 26.52 on Wednesday. Wynter will compete in the 200-meter backstroke on Saturday.
At last week’s RBC Bahamas National Championships, Wynter lowered his national record in 56.28, just .02 of a second off the Olympic standard. His previous mark was 56.98 he swam a month ago at the Validus Bermuda National Championships, where he became the first Jamaican under 57 seconds in the event.
At one point in his career, Wynter held all the records in the 50, 100 and 200-meter backstroke events in the 11-12, 13-14, 15-17 and senior national records.
Wynter has represented Jamaica at the CARIFTA Games, Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships, CCCAN, World Junior Championships, Youth Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games in Canada and World Championships in Russia.
And now he can add the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics to his impressive resume.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com