Barbados’ top swimmers are expected back home tomorrow after completing a commendable outing at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia.
The male team was made up of top age group swimmers Jack Kirby, Luis-Sebastian Weekes, Nkosi Dunwoody and Olympian Alex Sobers and the lone female swimmer was CARIFTA medallist Danielle Titus.
At the end of the five-day championships top local backstroke swimmer Jack Kirby walked away with seven new Barbados records, four new Youth Olympic Games “A” times and a top 5 finish in the A final of the 100M backstroke and a sixth place “A” final finish in the 50M backstroke, making him the highest placed Barbadian swimmer at the 2018 CAC Games.
While known for his backstroke dominance Kirby made his presence felt in the 100M freestyle by winning the “B” final and earning another “A” qualifying time for the Youth Olympic Games. The 50M freestyle event also a new favourite of Kirby’s ended up being a new Barbados 15-17 age group record, Youth Olympic Games “A” time and the fastest time swam by any Barbadian swimmer in that event this year.
2016 Olympian and freestyle specialist Alex Sobers once again secured his dominance in the 400M freestyle event setting a new Barbados national record and 18 and Over age group record in a time of 3:55.50 earning him the second highest finish from the Barbados team of 7th in the A final of the 400M Freestyle. Sobers would then keep his momentum going and secure himself another personal best time and age group and national record in the 200M freestyle in a time of 1:51.27 for which he placed 2nd in the B Final. Another personal best swim for Sobers was in the 100M freestyle where he finished 8th in the A final and set a new 18 & Over age group record for Barbados. Sobers placed 24th overall with his 50M freestyle event in a time of 23.60 placing him just behind teammate Kirby who placed 18th with a time of 23.68. The hotly contested event was won by Suriname’s Renzo Jair Tjon A Joe (22.18) and the silver went to Dylan Carter (22.39) of Trinidad & Tobago and bronze to Mexico’s Alberto Mestre(22.47).
More record-breaking swims came for Barbados from top breaststroke swimmer Luis-Sebastian Weekes. Weekes set a new Barbados record in the 15-17 Boys 50M breaststroke in a blistering time of 29.13. The old record was held for 16 years by Olympian Andre Cross. Weekes found himself ranked at the top of the “B” final for the 200M Individual Medley event and he would deliver for Barbados the top spot finish in a time of 2:08.55 which was very close to his personal best swim at the CCCAN Championships (2:07.37) in Aruba in June which earned him his first “A” qualifying time for the Youth Olympic Games. Kirby and Weekes are the only two Barbadian swimmers to have ever earned “A” qualifying times for the Youth Olympic Games.
The youngest member of the male quartet Nkosi Dunwoody posted a new personal best time in the 50M breaststroke event dropping from a 30.95 to a 30:46 in the preliminary swim. Dunwoody also made it in the “B” final of the 200M breaststroke finishing 8th with a time of 2:30.68. Kirby, Sobers, Weekes and Dunwoody also captured 6th place in the Men’s 4 x 100M freestyle relay A final in a time of 3:33.76. The quartet suffered a disqualification in the Men’s 4 x 100M individual medley A final after swimming very admirably in the morning’s preliminary event.
The top finish for the lone female member of the team Danielle Titus was third place in the “B” final in a time of 1:05.33 in her pet event the 100M backstroke. Titus would finish fifth in the “B” final in the 50M backstroke with a time of 30.49 just off her morning preliminary swim of 30.33. Titus finished 17th in the 200M backstroke event in a time of 2:28.95.
Next up on the swimming calendar is the Youth Olympic Games set to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from October 6 to 18. Sobers who is too old for the Games is set to return in August to Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia, where he will continue his training. Emmanuel College just achieved full and unrestricted membership in the NCAA Division II. At present Sobers holds six of the college’s short course yard records.