Jamaica finish Carifta Swim Champs with a flourish

Observer staff reporter

Friday, April 06, 2018

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Jamaican fans could not have asked for a more exciting climax to the 33rd staging of the four-day Carifta Swimming Championships.

A clean sweep of the girls' 200-metre freestyle relays underpinned the performance on the final day as the swimmers registered the country's second best performance as host nation and third best overall at this championship, at the National Aquatic Centre in Kingston on Tuesday.

The Jamaicans mined four gold, two silver and four bronze on the final day to finish with 41 medals inclusive of 13 gold, 12 silver and 16 bronze, which saw them bettering last year's haul of 30 and placing fifth on the 19-team medal standing.

With that tally, the 36-member team's performance ranked them second behind the 2007 team which garnered 47 medals when Jamaica hosted, and just edged out the 2013 team which won 40 medals also as hosts.

The 41 medals also represent Jamaica's third-best overall gain behind the 2006 haul of 50 and the 2007 haul of 47.

Another highlight for the Jamaicans was the fact that they topped the girls' standings with 391.50 points, while the boys placed sixth with 204 points.

The combined total placed the country third with 607.50 points, a mere half-point behind second-placed Guadeloupe (608), with Bahamas winning comfortably with 789 points. Trinidad and Tobago (576) and Cayman Islands (502.50) completed the top five.

That third-place finish is Jamaica's best-ever placing on the team standings since 2003 when the country last won the Carifta Swimming Championships. Jamaica won its first Carifta title in 1999 and placed second in 2002.

The Open Water Swim at James Bond Beach in St Mary was scheduled to officially bring the curtains down on the championships on Wednesday.

After enduring a slightly slow day on Monday's third day, the Jamaicans turned up in workmanlike fashion on the final day with Aliyah Heaven winning the first medal — a bronze in the girls' 11-12 50m freestyle.

Heaven (28.70s) was third behind Bermuda's special talent Elan Daley (26.59s), whose father is Jamaican. Daley smashed yet another record as her time lowered the previous best of 27.42s, set by Curacao's Chade Nersicio in 2014.

Devaughn Robe (28.02s) placed seventh in the boys' 11-12 50m freestyle, which was won by French Guiana's Dilan Nunez Green in a record time of 25.90s, lowering the flat 26.00s set by Dylan Carter in 2009.

The sensational Emily MacDonald, who ended the championships with seven gold and one bronze medal, claimed her first of the evening in the girls' 13-14 50m freestyle which she won in a record 26.76s. She lowered the previous time of 26.81s set by Bermuda's Madelyn Moore in 2014.

Naele Portecop (26.92s) of Guadeloupe and Jamaica's Zaneta Alvaranga (27.10s) were second and third, respectively.

The Jamaican pair of Gabrianna Banks (26.66s) and Shaun Johnson (27.36s) was fourth and sixth respectively in the girls' 15-17 50m freestyle behind Nersicio (26.18s). Both Banks and Johnson achieved B qualifying times for the Youth Olympics.

Jordan Hines (24.50s) was just outside the B qualifying time of 24.38s, as he ended seventh in the boys' 15-17 50m freestyle won by Bahamas's Izaak Bastian, who topped the field in a record 23.25s, bettering 23.37s set in 2013 by Joe Renzo Tjon.

Medal Count
Team G S B T otal
Bahamas 23 22 11 56
Trinidad & Tobago 19 19 7 45
Barbados 14 9 7 30
Guadeloupe 13 12 22 47
Jamaica 13 12 16 41
Bermuda 11 8 8 27
Cayman Islands 7 8 19 34
Aruba 6 4 1 11
Curacao 4 1 1 6
Martinique 2 5 5 12
French Guiana 2 4 5 11
Virgin Islands 1 2 3 6
Grenada 1 1 4 6
St Vincent 1 1 1 3
St Lucia 0 3 2 5
British Virgin Islands 0 3 0 3
Suriname 0 0 3 3
Antigua & Barbuda 0 0 1 1

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