Jamaican swimmers strike gold at Marlins Invitational Championships


Jamaican swimmers strike gold at Marlins Invitational Championships

Friday, December 13, 2019

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Jamaica's young swimmers had a po sitive outing on day one of the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ASATT) Marlins Invitational Championships, copping four medals in Couva on Wednesday.

With eight members of the talented 15-member team on show, they were steadily out of the blocks with two gold, one silver and one bronze medal to start.

Over 400 swimmers from six countries are on hand in the twin-island republic to compete in the 40th staging of the meet which has become a staple on the regional calendar.

After Loren Ann Patterson of Sailfish Swim Academy gave a good account with a personal best performance in the girls' 11-12 400m individual medley (IM), finishing eighth, Y-Speedos' Karci Gibson came good in the girls' 15 and over event to claim silver.

Gibson clocked 5:45.80 behind Jada Chatoor of the host team Marlins Swim Club, who stopped the clock at 5:22.84. Mia Benjamin of Sailfish Swim Club out of Grenada was third.

The Jamaicans had a little wait before their next podium finish as Liam Harrison of Y-Speedos and Howard Wallace of Sailfish were fifth and sixth, respectively, from the same heat in the 9-10 boys 50m backstroke.

Patterson produced another creditable performance in the girls' 11-12 50m backstroke, but again failed to make the podium despite cutting close to her personal best 41.51.

However, Giani Francis of Y-Speedos, who swam in the same age group, 11-12 50m backstroke, brought cheers to the Jamaican camp, clocking a brisk 33.81 to land the team's first gold medal of the night. Joy Blackett of Trinidad and Tobago-based Tidal Wave Aquatics and Athalcy Hunte out of Guyana, took the minor placing.

The ever-reliable Zaneta Alvaranga of Kaizen Swim Club followed suit in the girls' 13-14 50m backstroke, as she too finished tops, seeing to Jamaica's second gold medal.

Alvaranga clocked 32.29 in a stellar fight to stave off the challenge of her Trinidadian friends Neishalah Caseman (32.32) and Gabrielle Vickles (32.36), both of Tidal Wave Aquatics.

Another lull came thereafter, as siblings Sage and Kyle Sinclair, both of Y-Speedos, narrowly missed out on more points and medals despite valiant efforts in the girls' and boys' 15 and over 50m backstroke.

In the gruelling 200m butterfly, Francis finished sixth in the girls' 11-12 event, while Alvaranga and Gibson just missed the podium with fourth-place finishes in the girls' 13-14 and 15 and over events.

But the medal collection was not yet finished and in true Jamaican style, Dominic Mullings of Y-Speedos ensured they brought the curtains down in style with a bronze-medal performance in the boys' 15 and over 200m butterfly.

Mullings stopped the clock in 2:32.67, behind winner Dajenel Williams (2:16.62) of Sailfish Grenada and Aqeel Josephs (2:20.11) of Sea Hawks Swim Club situated in the host country.

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