Barbados’ top junior swimmers returned home tonight from the 2013 CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Jamaica with 41 medals.
On today’s fourth and final day of the championships, Barbados copped a further 13 medals to add to the 28 which they had accumulated at the end of the third day of intense action in the pool. The youngsters captured 20 gold medals, 12 silver and nine bronze.
Jack Kirby was in sizzling form taking gold in the age 11 to 12 200m backstroke in record time. He broke the Barbados record previously held by Luis Sebastian Weekes at 2 mins: 33.03 seconds during the morning preliminaries when he swam 2 mins: 29.18. Kirby then returned for the finals and delivered his record time of 2 mins: 27.09.
Weekes won silver in the same event in a time of 2:28.74.
There was also a third relay gold for Barbados in action among the age 13 to 14 girls. Having previously taken gold in the 4 x 200m free relay and 4 x 100m free relay, the dynamic quartet of Sariyah Sherry, Hannah Gill, Tiffany Titus and Alexis Clarke returned to the pool to streak to victory in the 200m freestyle in a time of 1min: 55.11 seconds.
The outstanding Damon St. Prix added more gold to his burgeoning collection when he swam 4 mins: 31.45 to win the 400m freestyle among the age 11 to 12 boys. That same distance was conquered by Hannah Gill when she took the gold medal among the age 13 to 14 girls in a time of 4 mins: 41.20. Christian Selby, swimming in the age 15 to 17 age group, also took gold in the 400m freestyle, coming in first in a good time of 4 mins: 05.22.
Gold was the colour of choice for Sariyah Sherry in the girls’ 13 to 14 50m freestyle. She swam a determined 27.76 seconds to stave off all-comers. Weekes might have missed out on gold to Kirby in the backstroke but his intention was clear in the breaststroke that he would have nothing other than gold. Competing among the 11 to 12 boys, Weekes’ gold medal 100m breaststroke dart through the water was clocked at 1min: 16.67 seconds.
Others reaching the medal podium were Alex Sobers who got a bronze medal in the 400m freestyle in a time of 4:20.67. St Prix added silver to his collection when he took second position in the age 11 to 12 boys’ 50m freestyle. Mckayla Treasure’s time of 2.38.84 in the 11 to 12 girls’ 200m backstroke gained her third spot and a bronze medal.Amara Gibbs swam a time of 2.31.02 in the girls’ 15 to 17 200m backstroke and earned herself and country a bronze medal while the team of Weekes, Kirby, Kobi Talma and St. Prix took silver in the 11 to 12 200m freestyle relay. They had a time of 1.52.55.
Gill won the FINA high point trophy for her age group for her 800m freestyle swim. She earned 681 FINA points. Hannah also won the 400m freestyle.
St. Prix was the overall champion in the 11 to 12 age group earning 60 points.
He was also the recipient of a memorial trophy earned by 11 to 12 male swimmers who win both the 200m and 400m freestyle events at CARIFTA.
The youngsters and the rest of the Barbadian contingent were met tonight on their return to the island by Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley and members of the local swimming association. (WG)††