Barbados captured two medals inclusive of one gold by Deigo Dulieu in the 14 to 15 boys age group, when the 2019 CARIFTA Open Water took place this morning at Carlisle Bay.
A total of 55 participants comprising 29 boys and 26 girls featured in the five-kilometre race and each competitor was required to swim five-laps in the sea which was complemented with slightly overcast weather conditions.
The open water event consisted of only two age groups [14 to 15 and 16 to 18] and Dulieu, at 14-years-old, clocked 1:04.45 to give Barbados the top podium finish.
A robustly built Dulieu looked steady around the course and was able to speed his way to victory ahead of the time of 1:04.47 registered by Stefano Bonati of the Cayman Islands and the 1:05.01 swam by Kervann Samos of Martinique.
Eric Lashley landed the only other medal for Barbados with a bronze in the 16 to 18 boys’ senior category when he registered a time of 1:04.46 behind gold medallist Jake Bailey of Cayman Islands [1:03.46] and Thomas Charlery of Martinique [1:04.47] in second.
Dulieu and Lashley, the only two male competitors that finished for the seven-member Barbados team which competed against nine other countries, were both happy with their performances in conditions that were fit for open water swim.
A student of St. Gabriel’s School, Dulieu said: “It was challenging, I went off course a little bit, so I just swam extra, and the currents were kind of strong. The older age group gave me a push because it was a tight pack… I trained a lot and did distance training.”
That was Dulieu’s second medal of the 2019 CARIFTA Games having won a bronze in the 1500m freestyle for Under-15 Boys at the National Aquatic Center.
Meanwhile, 15-year-old Lashley said: “It was good. The third lap in the race I wasn’t sure how well I was going to do but fourth and fifth lap I managed to pull it back and should be proud of myself, I did not think I would do that well.”
During the race, Lashley did well to position himself in the top two of the leading pack and despite fading 30 metres in the third lap was able to pick back up the pace in the fourth lap and secure that desired podium finish.
As it relates to preparation coming into the open water event, Lashley who also captured CARIFTA bronze two-years ago in the five-kilometre event said: “For the past two months we have been doing seven kilometres every day, twice a day, and then on the weekend we would do a ten kilometre in the pool. Then last two weeks we have been coming out here [Carlisle Bay] swimming the course.”
While Dulieu emerged as the top male performer for Barbados, Danielle Clarke was the most outstanding female finisher in seventh overall stopping the clock at 1:11.59 in the 16 to 18 division.
The top three placement in the girls 16 to 18 was winner Samantha Van Vuure of Curacao [1:07.10], silver medallist Elena Sinclair of Cayman Islands [1:07.10] and Jada Chatoor of Trinidad and Tobago [1:07.16] who captured bronze.
Barbados struggled in the girls 14 to 15 division. Adia Deane with a time of 1:14.56 came eighth and edged teammate Amelie Baker by a split second (1:14.57) for ninth place.
Winning the girls14 to 15 age group was Avery Lambert of Cayman Islands [1:09.00], second went to Zoe Anthony of Trinidad and Tobago [1:07.18] and Raya Embury- Brown of the Bahamas [1:07.24] came third.