Roy Allan Burch *Photo supplied
Roy Allan Burch *Photo supplied

Roy Allan Burch broke the men's 100m freestyle Bermuda national record twice on his way to a silver medal at the 40th International Nico Sapio Trophy in Genoa, Italy this weekend.

Burch, a two-time Olympian, set a new record in the preliminaries, clocking 49:94 seconds. He then went even better in the final, storming to second place in 49:29.

It beats Bermuda's previous best men’s 100m freestyle time, also set by Burch, of 50:66 set during the World Championships in Barcelona earlier this year.

In Italy, Italian Lorenzo Benatti won the 100m freestyle gold medal in a time of 49.04. 

Burch told the Bermuda Sun: "I was a little surprised with the swim because we are in very heavy training — this time was a goal of mine for later in the season.

"But the swim has given me a lot of confidence and reassured me that my training is going well."

He added: "I take a lot of pride in my national records and plan to put them in a difficult place for the swimmers behind me.

"It was a positive step in the right direction and I was able to step up and race the field. I have lots more work to do but I am going to continue to work harder and harder.

"I'm doing everything I can to have a really successful commonwealth and CAC games."

Burch later described in a press release how difficult his achievement was.

He said: "Despite traveling almost 20 hours and having our first overseas competition for the year, coach still decided to work us hard the day we arrived and the night before the competition. I was so tired and my body was in so much pain but I have been training extremely hard so I can dig deep into my well of fitness."

Burch swam out of lane six for finals and was able to keep track of the whole field.

"I had a good idea of where I was in the race. I could already see that I was above the two guys to my outside and the guy directly on my inside. I got to the last lap and gritted my teeth and told myself repeatedly to put my head down and get to the wall.

"I felt like I had the win but was just touched out by Lorenzo Benatti of Italy. This was a huge racing breakthrough for me. Many times I over think when I race but this race allowed me to get back to my pure racing instincts and just go for it."