Barbados’ swimmers have captured eight medals and broken four national age group records on the first day of competition at the XXIX CARIFTA Swimming Championships which got underway at the Pisina Olimpico Roly Bissilik pool in Savaneta, Aruba yesterday.
Hannah Gill secured the gold medal in the first final of the meet, the 800m freestyle, stopping the clock at 9:14:22. Gill finished 30 seconds ahead of second place Albury Higgs of the Bahamas (9:44:34) with bronze going to Florence Kock (9:45:34) of Aruba. Gill’s time is a new national age group record for Barbados.
Christian Selby earned gold convincingly in the 1500m freestyle in a time of 16:28:53. Silver and bronze went to Matthew Lyn (16:59:06) and Nico Campbell (17:03:22) both of Jamaica.
The breaststroke events proved hugely successful for the team. Nkosi Dunwoody competing in his first CARIFTA took eight seconds off his previous best in the 200m breaststroke to win the bronze medal in a time of 2:46:60 narrowly missing silver which went to Brandon Cheong of Aruba (2:46:48).
In the 13-14 age group, Rebecca Lashley and Luis Sebastian Weekes both took silver in the 200m breaststroke with Lashley erasing the old national age group record of 2:49:71 set by Deandre Small in 2010, posting a new time of 2:48:78.
Young Danielle Titus who holds multiple backstroke records in Barbados was very impressive in her CARIFTA debut event, the 50m backstroke. In the morning preliminaries, Titus went under the previous CARIFTA record of 32:26, posting a 32:22 to take second position for the evening finals. Her time was also a new national record, the previous record being 32:45 held by Inayah Sherry.
Titus went on to lower her preliminary time in the finals, finishing in silver medal position with a new record time of 32:02. The gold went to Emma Harvey of Bermuda in a time of 31:93.
Zabrina Holder competing in her final CARIFTA took the third gold of the day in the 100m butterfly in a time of 1:04:94.
The only relay medal of the evening went to the girls 15-17 team of Kimberley Willoughby, Alexis Clarke, Amara Gibbs and Zabrina Holder. They finished in second place behind home team Aruba and their time of 4:08:35 replaced the previous national record of 4:08:41 set by Holder, Leanne Rose, Gibbs and Deandre Small in 2012.