USVI Swimmer Sanes Heading Home After Final Olympic Event

Adriel Sanes sports an Auburn University shirt in anticipation of earning a master’s degree in engineering management at the institution in the fall. (Photo submitted by Adriel Sanes)

St. Croix native Adriel Sanes will be heading home after competing in his final event for the USVI, the men’s 200-meter breaststroke, on Tuesday morning at the Tokyo Olympics.

Sanes, 22, swam with a time of 2:16.87 in the second heat of the semifinals, but it wasn’t enough to advance to the finals. On Saturday, he swam the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:02.43, narrowly missing his personal best time of 1:02.41 – the record for the fastest time in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Natalia Kuipers, 19, of St. Croix, also is headed home after representing the USVI in the women’s 400-meter freestyle semifinals on Sunday morning at the Tokyo Aquatics Center with a time of 4:39.42, falling short of qualifying for the finals in her event.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, athletes’ time at the games is limited to arriving within five days of their events and leaving the day after they are finished, according to Brigitte Berry of the USVI Olympic Committee. The rules meant USVI 110-meter hurdler Eddie Lovett, who won’t compete until Aug. 3, could not attend the opening ceremony on July 23 and will be the only USVI athlete to attend the closing ceremony on Aug. 8.

St. Thomas native Daryl Homer will compete for Team USA in the men’s sabre team quarterfinal at 10:25 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday (11:25 a.m. July 28 in Tokyo).

Homer, 31, who won a silver at the 2016 Rio Games and is currently ranked 17th in the world, did not advance in the men’s individual sabre on Saturday in Tokyo, losing to Mohamed Amer of Egypt, 15-11.

On Wednesday, Team USVI archer Nicholas D’Amour, ranked 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 (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.

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

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

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.

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.