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HomeNewsLocal newsUSVI Olympians Fall Short in 100-Meter Breaststroke, 400-Meter Freestyle

USVI Olympians Fall Short in 100-Meter Breaststroke, 400-Meter Freestyle

Athletes competing for the U.S. Virgin Islands at the Tokyo Olympics include, from left, hurdler Eddie Lovett, swimmer Natalia Kuipers, swimmer Adriel Sanes and archer Nicholas D’Amour. (Photo provided by V.I. Olympic Committee)

St. Croix native Adriel Sanes did not advance to the semifinals of the men’s 100-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday after placing third in his heat and 42nd overall on Saturday.

Natalia Kuipers, 19, also of St. Croix, will not advance after finishing outside the top eight in the women’s 400-meter freestyle semifinals on Sunday morning at the Tokyo Aquatics Center. Kuipers, 19, swam with a time of 4:39.42 – 38.97 seconds behind first-place finisher Katie Ledecky of Team USA – placing 26th overall.

Sanes, 22, swam with a time of 1:02.43 in the 100-meter breaststroke on Saturday, narrowly missing his personal best time of 1:02.41 – the record for the fastest time in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Sanes will have another chance at a medal when he competes in his second event, the 200-meter breaststroke, at 6:39 a.m. Eastern Time Tuesday (7:39 p.m. in Tokyo).

Archer Nicholas D’Amour, who ranks 23rd with 660 points after the men’s recurve qualifying round on Friday, will face Ryan Tyack of Australia, ranked 42nd with 650 points, in an elimination match at 11:06 p.m. ET Wednesday (12:06 p.m. July 29 in Tokyo).

D’Amour, 19, a student at the University of the Virgin Islands on St. Thomas, ranks fourth in the world for the men’s Olympic recurve going into the games and is considered a strong contender for a medal.

Eddie Lovett, at 29 the oldest athlete in the delegation, will compete in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, with first-round heats beginning at 6:10 a.m. ET (7:10 p.m. in Tokyo) Aug. 3.

Born in Miami, Florida, Lovett frequently visited St. Croix as a child to spend time with his family and is named after the late reggae artist Eddie Lovette, who was his grandfather.

While Sanes and Kuipers carried the flag for the USVI at Friday’s opening ceremony, Lovett could not attend the event due to strict COVID-19 protocols surrounding the games.

“For these games, you’re there five days before your first event and need to leave the day after,” said Brigitte Berry of the USVI Olympic Committee. Because Lovett’s 110-meter hurdle event is not scheduled until Aug. 3, he had to miss the ceremony. “I had to apply for special permission to have Eddie stay there for the closing ceremony,” on Aug. 8, Berry said.

Virgin Islanders competing in the Olympics for Team USA include sailor Nikki Barnes and fencer Daryl Homer, who was born on St. Thomas but moved to Bronx, New York, at age 5.

Homer, 31, who won a silver at the 2016 Rio Games and is currently ranked 17th in the world, failed to advance in the men’s individual sabre on Saturday in Tokyo, losing to Mohamed Amer of Egypt, 15-11. He will compete against Hungary in the men’s sabre team quarterfinal at 10:25 p.m. Tuesday, (11:25 a.m. July 28 in Tokyo).

Barnes, 27, who was born on St. Thomas and currently serves in the U.S. Coast Guard, will compete in the women’s two-person dinghy-470 (The name comes from the boat’s length of 470 centimeters.) with crewmate Lara Dallman-Weiss. The pair are ranked 12th in the world in their class. Races are set to begin at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday (12:15 p.m. Thursday, July 29, in Tokyo).

The games are being broadcast by NBC, both live and on replay. For viewing options, visit the Tokyo 2020 website, where schedules and results also are posted.

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