T&T’s Open Water swimmer Christian Marsden lived-up to his pre-race hype when he took gold in the 15-17 boys Open Water swim at Carlisle Bay, the final day of the 30th Carifta Swimming Championship in Barbados, yesterday.
It was the lone Open Water medal for the T&T contingent to place fifth with 15 points. The other T&T Open Water participants were Shania David who was eighth in the 15-17 girls age-group while the the trio of Gabriel Bynoe (seventh), Graham Chatoor (eighth) and Sabrina David (eight) had low placings in their respective 13-14 races.
On Tuesday night at the National Aquatic Centre in Wildey, T&T failed to add to its gold medal haul of 12 but picked up four silver and two bronze to end with 38 medals overall (12 gold, 13 silver, 13 bronze) and third spot with 494.5 points.
Bahamas kept hold of its title with 756 points and 54 medals (29 gold, 17 silver, 8 bronze) while host Barbados was second with 642.5 points and 52 medals, its most in history (30 gold, 12 silver, 10 bronze).
Leading the way for T&T on the fourth and final night of swimming was boys 13-14 Age-Group High Point second placed finisher Jeron Thompson, who picked up silver medals in the 50-metre freestyle (25.19 seconds) and 100m backstroke (1:10.40 minutes).
The other silver winners on the night for the T&T contingent under the guidance of first year head coach Chabeth Haynes were Amira Pilgrim (115-15 girls 50m freestyle in 27.31); Jahmia Harley, the 11-12 girls High Point bronze finisher, in the 200m backstroke in 2:38.64, and the 15-17 boys 4x50m freestyle relay combination of Justin Samlalsingh, Jabari Baptiste, Osaze Riley and Canada-based Adrian Goin in 1:36.49.
Harley also added a bronze in the 400m freestyle (4:53.22) and Baptiste did likewise, in the 15-17 boys 50m freestyle in 24.26.
USA-based Tyla Martin, who won three individual gold medals for T&T, also got third spot in the 15-17 girls Age-Group High Point competition.
Meanwhile, US and Olympic coach Todd Schmitz, the personal coach of American multi-Olympic and World gold medallist Missy Franklin will begin a three-day clinic today at the Dr Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence Swimming Pool, Macoya as well as St Joseph’s College, St Joseph.
Speaking on the team’s arrival at the Piarco International Airport yesterday, head coach Haynes, said, “We were glad to improve on our fifth place finish last year.
“It was a tough meet and our team featured quite a few newcomers however, the experienced and seasoned swimmers were able to pull out big points in crucial events for us to secure third spot.”
Looking ahead Haynes said she was sure the younger swimmers gained a lot from the experience as well as from the more senior local and foreign based swimmers over this tour.
Final medal table
Team G S B Tot
Barbados 30 12 10 52
Bahamas 29 17 8 54
T&T 12 13 13 38
Aruba 10 13 12 35
Guadeloupe 8 11 6 25
Suriname 6 8 7 21
Cayman Islands 5 4 5 14
Bermuda 4 8 10 22
Grenada 3 1 6 10
Jamaica 2 9 14 25
Final points table
1 Bahamas 756
2 Barbados 642.5
3 T&T 494.5
4 Guadeloupe 478
5 Jamaica 466
6 Aruba 348.5
7 Cayman Islands 289
8 Surinam 271
9 Bermuda 259
10 Martinique 229