WILDEY, Barbados — It was the start that team Bahamas wanted at the 34th edition of the CARIFTA Swimming Championships as almost every final tonight has a Bahamian swimmer represented. The championships are being held at the Barbados Aquatic Center.
Tristian Thompson and Ethan Pinder were among the first to advance to the finals this morning in the 11-12 boys 200 meters (m) breaststroke. Thompson and Pinder finished with the sixth and eight fastest times in their heat. Thompson finished the race with a time of 2:58.54. Pinder’s time was 3:02.67.
According to Algernon Cargill, president of the Bahamas Aquatics Federation, the breaststroke is one of The Bahamas’ best strokes.
“We have a very strong program with our breaststroke and backstroke swimmers. We expect them to do extremely well this evening,” Cargill said.
In the 13-14 boys 200m breaststroke, The Bahamas has Nigel Forbes and Erald Thompson III. Forbes finished second with a time of 2:35:02 and Thompson III recorded a time of 2:35.48, for the third spot. They are expected to lower their times in the finals tonight.
On the girls’ side of that event, Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson enters the finals with the fourth fastest time. She posted 2:54.48. Adara Stoddard, of Barbados, came first with a blistering time of 2:49.25.
The Bahamas will be looking to take gold and silver in the 15-17 boys 200m breaststroke event. Izaak Bastian and Luke-Kennedy Thompson have the fastest times heading into tonight’s final. Bastian, who took his time in the pool, swam a blistering 2:26.31. Thompson recorded a time of 2:28.74.
Bastian set the meet record of 2:17.78 in this event last year in Jamaica. Asked if he can break it this year, Bastian said: “We’ll see what I can do because I did not rest for this meet.
“My body is tired from training. Last year I came rested and fully prepared, but I will give it my best shot.”
Marvin Johnson and Amauri Bonamy will head into the 11-12 boys 50m backstroke finals with the two fastest times. Johnson recorded a time of 30.82 and Bonamy swam the length of the pool in 32.16 seconds.
Davante Carey swam a very fast heat to finish with the fastest qualifying time of 27.40 seconds in the 15-17 boys 50m backstroke. His teammate Lamar Taylor is also in the finals. He finished with the third-fastest time of 27.96 seconds. Cayman Islands’ Jordan Crooks posted the second-fastest time of 27.92 seconds.
Carey said he swam to secure his place in the finals and is looking to get a personal best and hopefully break a record.
Swimming again and owning the fastest qualifying time was 12-year-old Johnson. This time he did it in the 11-12 boys 100m butterfly. His time was 1:04.24. Asher Johnson has the fifth fastest qualifying time of 1:08.68.
The sounds of the whistles, drums and the cowbells from the stands gave the Bahamian swimmers an added push in the pool.
Travano McPhee, head coach of the team, said he was happy with the athletes’ performance.
“We had a few kids who were seeded ninth and tenth move up to secure some points in the finals tonight,” he said.
“Overall, we were good in the breaststroke events. Our 11-12 boys did a good job. It was an overall good first morning. The energy was good and so were our kids.”
The opening ceremony is set for 5.30 p.m. Session two of day one will get underway at 6 p.m. The relay finals will get underway tonight as well and are worth double points. The Bahamas is hoping to gain the momentum as it look to win its third-straight championship.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism
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