Cayman swimmer Brett Fraser has advanced to the finals of the men’s 50 meter butterfly at the XX Commonwealth Games in Scotland.
A day after the Cayman delegation joined 70 other nations and territories in a colorful parade through the Celtic Park stadium at the opening ceremony of the Games in Glasgow, 24-year-old Fraser was already making waves.
He swam a time of 23.96 seconds, placing him fourth in the semifinals at the Tollcross International Swimming Center.
Earlier on Thursday, he placed second in the morning qualifying heat, with a time of 24.01 seconds, to earn a lane in the semifinal.
The George Town native said it was a great start to his Games.
Speaking about the earlier swim that placed him in the semifinals, he said, “First of all, I thought it was a good morning swim, considering I arrived a few days ago and it was a quick adjustment to the atmosphere in Glasgow.”
In a prescient fashion, he said, “I’m happy with that. There are a few improvements that I know I can make going into the semifinals. I’m looking forward to getting a second chance to give my best and going from there.”
In the semis, British swimmer Benjamin Proud placed first in 23.16 seconds, and Chad le Clos of South Africa and Australian Jayden Hadler were second and third, respectively.
Cayman’s other three swimmers on Thursday – Geoffrey Butler, Lara Butler and Alex McCallum – all failed to advance in their heats. Geoffrey Butler was sixth in the men’s 400m freestyle with a time of 4:06.78, Lara Butler was seventh in the women’s 100m butterfly at 1:05.69 and McCallum was last in the men’s 100m backstroke in 1:01.22.
Lara Butler said she was disappointed with her showing.
“My finish was quite bad, it was nothing great, it wasn’t a personal best or anything,” she said. “But it’s an ongoing frustration. My finish was really, really bad. It’s the 100m back tomorrow [Friday] and I just want to get a good time, so hopefully it will go well.”
McCallum was swimming in the same race as Chris Courtis, a former Cayman swimmer who now competes for his home country of Barbados.
“It was a rough race. I mean, I didn’t feel too good in the water,” McCallum said. “But it’s not my main event so I’ve got another five days until my main race, so hopefully I’ll be that much stronger for that.
“I feel really prepared, I just feel like I didn’t quite have that race under control, but I feel prepared for the rest of my races.
“He [Chris] was in the same race as me and we sort of talked about it before the race. But he was on the other side of the pool so I couldn’t see him.”
On Thursday, Cayman also featured in preliminary men’s and women’s singles squash matches. Cameron Stafford beat Christian Navas of Gibraltar 11-2, 11-5 and 11-3 and advanced to play Botswana’s Alister Walker later that night.
Kenya’s Hartaj Bains beat Cayman’s Daniel Murphy 11-7, 11-4, 11-6, Chris Simpson of Guernsey defeated Julian Jervis 11-7, 11-4, 11-1 and Wee Worn Low of Malaysia beat Eilidh Bridgeman 11-1, 11-2, 11-2.
Fraser, 24, swam a time of 23.96 seconds, placing him fourth in the semifinals at the Tollcross International Swimming Center in Glasgow.