Team Jamaica made a loud splash on the opening day of the 32nd CARIFTA Swimming Championships in the Bahamas. The aquatic standard-bearers from the land of wood and water secured 9 medals including 4 Gold, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze.
It was not all about winning medals however, as some 24 personal milestones were established by our young ambassadors. Two national marks were also removed from the record books.
CARIFTA debutant Nathaniel Thomas stormed to victory in the 50m Backstroke (11-12 category) in 31.64 seconds, the first time in 8 years that Jamaica was winning a medal in the event.
A brilliant display by Sabrina Lyn in the Girls 11-12 100m Butterfly saw her not only winning the Gold in 1.07.22 but also becoming the first Jamaican girl to go sub 1.08.0 in the event. Her teammate Zaneta Alvaranga also acquitted herself well grabbing Silver in 1.08.02 (personal best) as
Team Jamaica captured two podium spots and in the process got its highest placing in over a decade.
Another national record set some 21 years ago was shattered as the quartet of Gabrianna Banks, Brianna Anderson, Simone Vale and Emily McDonald took the Girls 13-14 400m Freestyle Relay in 4.06.08 seconds.
The senior girls (15-17) accounted for Jamaica’s 4th Gold medal on the day winning the 400m Freestyle Relay in a respectable 4.02.11. The team comprised Anjuii Barrett, Shaun Johnson, Annabella Lyn and Britney Williams.
Cameron Brown secured Silver in the Boys 13-14 200m Breaststroke in a personal best 2.34.39 seconds a massive improvement on his 8th place effort in 2016 when he recorded a time of 2.39.43. Brown’s Silver ended a 12 year medal drought in the event.
The 15-17 200m Breaststroke again proved a happy hunting ground for Bryanna Renuart as her time of 2.47.05 ensured that she occupied the Bronze medal slot for a second consecutive year. Brianna Anderson (31.47) secured Bronze for Jamaica in the 50m Backstroke.
Kyle Sinclair, Dominic Mullings, Akeem Alleyne and Cameron Brown teamed up for the Bronze Medal in the 400m Freestyle relay in a time of 3.50.90, the first medal in the event for Jamaica since 2014.
Written by J. Dario Chin
Photos courtesy of Michael Lyn