Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell won the 2013 edition of the Jax 50 sprint challenge that featured a bevy of Olympic talent, all vying for the title in this unique head-to-head 50-yard free only tournament on Saturday in Jacksonville, Florida.

Bovell, seventh in the 50m free in the London Olympics while a bronze medallist at the World Short Course Swimming Championships last December in Turkey, was making a return to the Bolles Swimming School, where he was once enrolled during his high school years, and where he laid the platform for his international success in swimming.

Bovell won the final confrontation in the men’s bracket with a 19.20 to 19.48 triumph ahead of US Olympic gold medallist Cullen Jones.

Meanwhile, Bahamas’ Ariana Vanderpool-Wallace clinched the women’s crown 22.25 to 22.48 against Amanda Weir. Weir is a US Olympian, while event champion Vanderpool-Wallace has represented the Bahamas in the Olympics.

The meet also featured the likes of Ricky Berens throwing down a 19.40 to beat 16-year-old Caeleb Dressel for fifth-place honours just a day before Berens’ birthday. The crowd in attendance sang him “Happy Birthday” prior to one of his swims.

The Jax 50 first began several years ago as a fundraiser to help the Planet Swim Foundation, which is a non-profit organisation created by Gustavo Calado and Bolles School of Sharks head coach and former Spanish Olympian Sergio Lopez. The Foundation helps underprivileged children in North Florida with free swim lessons, and has been able to fund learn-to-swim programmes for 157 children thus far.

Not only does the Jax 50 feature the sprint challenge, it also has a clinic the following day with the professional swimmers in attendance.