National record for Evelina whilst 'mum the word' for schuster in Kazan

​The Media Mixed Zone was met with a broad beaming smile first thing this morning as Evelina Afoa of Samoa appeared after her heat.

Evelina had just competed in the Women’s 100m Backstroke clocking a time of 1 minute 08.43 seconds.

The smile was justified as she had just broken her personal best and set a new national record for Samoa. It also clearly meant so much more to a teenager whose love of representing Samoa gives her “the opportunity to represent who I am.”

Evelina went on to explain to us that, “ I just felt really fast and light in the water, my finish was a bit slow but I’m still happy with how I went”

She doesn’t plan to stop there, immediately analyzing the technical aspects of her race;

“ At least I know I can go faster by working on the things that I could have done better in that race. My start was pretty good with my underwater work usually being a strength. I was glancing across and I sort of knew I was in front after my underwater but I could have worked a bit better on my turn and definitely on my finish”

She went on to explain how she is feeling more comfortable in the major event environment, having been a ‘first timer’ at Barcelona in 2013.

“I’d say I’m less nervous this time around, I’m looking at it as a much more fun thing rather than putting myself under pressure by telling myself I have to be serious. I’m just relaxed ahead of the race, and it went well for me so I’m happy.”

A couple of minutes later the smile still hasn’t disappeared, and it’s easy to be carried along with her enthusiasm as she looks forward to her next race this week, at the same time giving a nod to the team spirit that Samoa clearly possess;

“ I’m hoping for another PB in the fifty and good races for Brandon and Winter. I think I’m swimming pretty well at the moment, I’ve been concentrating on a lot of the technical things and I’ve still got a lot to improve in terms of that. I’m glad that there’s always something to work on as it means that there’s always potential there”

Samoa’s Brandon Schuster produced a pleasing performance on Day 2 of the 16th FINA World Championships, in Kazan. Competing in the Men’s 200m Freestyle, Schuster qualified for these championships with a time of 1:57.62. This was a personal record set just under a month previously, which he was aiming to beat.

He entered the water as the fastest of the 10 swimmers in the heat. Conscious of going out too fast in 400m Freestyle, he turned in 7th place in a time of 28.04.

“I went pretty fast first 50m but held back a bit.” However, he recognised that he should not have held back as much in order to improve his time.

Reflecting on yesterday’s race, he stated that he felt that the start was too quick but today his approach was more measured.

So it proved with Brandon having the second fastest split time at 100m and 4th fastest at the final turn. Nevertheless, he was still in 3rd place at this stage, only for him to put in a final 50 m in 29.40 seconds to clinch victory in his heat with a time of 1 minute 57.93 seconds.

Schuster agreed that the final quarter was the strongest part of the race for him.

“The last 50m I felt I did pretty well. I sprinted the last 25/50m and caught up with the guy who was leading. I was fairly happy with the back end of the race”.

The Samoan has a unique swimming environment in the fact the coach is his mother, Suzie Schuster. When asked about what his coach would think he laughed and replied;

“My coach might be happy and then there’s the mom/coach that’d be like ‘why didn’t you get a PB?’” he joked. “But I’m pretty sure she’ll be a lot happier after yesterday’s swim!”