One of the great men of speed from the CARIFTA region, Renzo Tjon A Joe, of Suriname set his sights on Europe to fine-tune his speed for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He would go on the FINA World Cup Tour stops in Hungary and Berlin.
At the Budapest leg held from October 4 to 6, he fired his opening salvo in his Tokyo mission with a 50 freestyle swim in 22.79. That would place him 10th. He was only 0.14 of a second away from his first World Cup Final berth. In the 100 metre freestyle he recorded splits of 23.87 and 26.32 to be even closer to the final with a total time of 50.19 for 9th spot.
Renzo’s date with history would be on the very first day of competition in Berlin at Schwimm- und Sprunghalle im.
Gold went to Russian record holder Vladimir Morozov in 21.55, Silver to Kosuke Matsui of Japan in 21.93 and the Bronze to American Michael Andrew in 22.03.
In the 100 metre freestyle he was just off his Budapest time touching in 50.53 (split 23.83) for 14th overall.
Draftingthecaribbean spoke Renzo and got his reaction to the tour:
“It has the same World Championship feel with just less pressure. I would definitely encourage all Caribbean swimmers to be a part of it to gain more international exposure and experience”.
When asked about his role as an ambassador he said:
“I focus on being a hard working athlete and good person. I’m also committed on seeing through what I’ve set out for myself in the sport. I’d like to only further set the bar so that other CARIFTA” athletes in the nearby future can surpass it”.