Coach Previews Commonwealth Swimmers

July 27, 2022

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Ben Smith, the Bermuda swimming team head coach, has shared his thoughts on the island’s trio of swimmers at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Madelyn Moore, Emma Harvey and brother Jack Harvey take to the pool at the $70 million state-of-the-art Aquatics Centre in Smethwick, Sandwell, for their first heats on Friday.

Smith has worked with each swimmer since their early teens and believes they are more than ready to compete at the top level.

Madelyn Moore, Jack Harvey & Emma Harvey Bermuda July 2022

Moore is the most experienced of the three, having represented the island at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, in 2019, finishing sixth in the B final in the 50 metres freestyle [26.52] and fifth in her 100 butterfly heat [59.02].

The 21-year-old, who has recently moved to Virginia Tech from the University of Northern Colorado, will compete in the 100 metres butterfly, 100 backstroke, 50 free, 50 butterfly, and 50 backstroke.

“Maddie has pretty good experience and knows what it takes to compete at this level,” Smith told Bernews.

“She’s been having double practice sessions and working hard to ensure she’s at her best in Birmingham.

“She came home for the National Championships [in May] and achieved personal best times, which, considering she was in a training block and not really prepared to be going fast, was very encouraging.”

Smith said the goal for Moore and her teammates in Birmingham is to achieve personal bests in their respective events.

“At this level of competition, for us, it’s about sending your athletes out there to do lifetime best performances,” said Smith, who has not travelled to Birmingham, with Shona Palmer deputising as coach.

“Does that take you to the next round? If so, they will be looking to perform again.

“It should set them up nicely going into next year when there will be the Central American and Caribbean Games [in San Salvador, El Salvador] and the Pan Am Games [in Santiago, Chile].

Emma Harvey, much like her brother Jack, will be making her debut in a major multi-sport event.

However, she does have international experience, albeit at the junior level, having represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas in 2017, winning bronze in the 50 butterfly and the 4×100 mixed freestyle relay.

In Birmingham, she will compete in the 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 50 free, 50 fly, and 50 backstroke.

“Emma is definitely ready for this occasion,” Smith said.

“She was always close and competitive with Maddie, and I know this experience is not too big for her.

“I believe their performances in Birmingham will help the rest of the programme build.”

Jack, 19, has made significant strides in the past two years.

Along with his sister, he is a student at Pennsylvania State University and will race in the 50, 100 and 200 backstroke.

“In the last few years, we’ve really started to see his capabilities, especially in the backstroke,” Smith added. “He’s dedicated himself to his craft.

“He has been sitting in his sister’s shadow for a little time, but I believe he’s about to show people what he’s really capable of.”

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