Monday, Sep 23, 2019
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Golden start for Team Bahamas in the pool

WILDEY, Barbados – The Bahamas is ahead of the field as the athletes took a comfortable 56-point lead at the 34th edition of the CARFITA Swimming Championships at the Barbados Aquatic Center following day one of competition.

So far, the team has amassed a total of 21 medals – nine golds, five silvers and seven bronze medals after 26 final events. The Bahamas has accumulated 233 total points. Jamaica has 177 points. Trinidad and Tobago is in third with 155 points.

One of the most outstanding athletes so far is the boys 11-12 swimming ace Marvin Johnson. Johnson has won three gold medals in the 50 meters (m) backstroke, the 100m butterfly and the 4X100m relay in his age group.

Johnson was superb in the 50m backstroke, dominating the race straight out of the blocks and never relinquished the lead. He finished the race with a time of 30.75 seconds, lowering his preliminary time of 30.82 by 0.07 seconds.  Second place went to Rohan Shearer, of Turks and Caicos Islands. He swam 31.92 seconds. Amauri Bonamy won the bronze with a time of 32.11 seconds.

Johnson returned to the pool to win his second gold medal of the evening. The Grand Bahama native put on a show for The Bahamian fans as he swam the 100m butterfly in a blistering 1:03.65.  Bermuda’s Elijah Daley was not a threat for Johnson as he finished in 1:05.50 to win the silver medal. Winning the bronze medal with a time of 1:07.49 was Jamaica’s Brady MacPherson Lewison. Johnson’s teammate Asher Johnson was seventh. He recorded 1:09.89.

In the 4X100m freestyle relay event, Marvin Johnson anchored the team of Tristin Ferguson, Bonamy and Ethan Pinder. The quartet won gold in a time of 4:08.13. The host nation was second with a time of 4:19.67. The bronze medal went to Suriname with 4:29.10.

It was a record-breaking performance for the boys 15-17 4X100m freestyle relay team as they won the gold in 3:33.68. The team consisted of Lamar Taylor, Kevon Lockhart, Davante Carey and Izaak Bastian. They broke the six-year record of 3:33.73 set by Trinidad and Tobago. Second to The Bahamas was the Cayman Islands, which was neck and neck with the Bahamas on the third leg before Bastian gave The Bahamas the lead. They recorded a time of 3:37.78. Winning the bronze was Jamaica, finishing the race in 3:40.66.

Winning the first medal for The Bahamas – gold, was team captain, Luke-Kennedy Thompson. The 17-year-old had a perfect strategy in the 1500m freestyle to win it in 16:37.95. Leading most of the race was Jake Bailey of the Cayman Islands who swam 16:39.20. Thompson gained on Bailey in the final 100m and in the final 50m it became a sprint-off with Thompson edging out Bailey, touching the wall first.

Mark-Anthony Thompson, Thompson’s younger brother won the bronze medal to give the family a second medal in the race. He recorded a time of 17:09.40.

With that time, the elder Thompson qualified for the Pan American Games “B” time.

The Thompson family was not finished with the medals yet. Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson, the younger sister decided that she too wanted a medal. She won silver in the girls 13-14 200m breaststroke finishing the race with a time of 2:48.15. Gold went to Barbados’ Adara Stoddard with a time of 2:46.37. Bronze went to Bermuda’s Elan Daley as she swam 2:52.72.

The silver-medalist said her older brother’s gold medal performance gave her the energy to pick up a medal.

Bastian won gold in the boys 15-17 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:18.03. Haiti’s Alexandre Grand’Pierre was the silver medalist, finishing with a time of 2:25.40. Luke-Kennedy Thompson picked up his second medal of the night. He recorded 2:28.91 to win the bronze medal.

Adding to The Bahamas’ gold medal tally was 13-year-old Keianna Moss. She recorded a time of 31.31 seconds in the girls 13-14 50m backstroke. Second behind Moss was Bermuda’s Elan Daley with a time of 31.45 seconds. Jamaica’s Zaneta Alvaranga swam 31.77 seconds to win the bronze.

Moss said was surprised she won gold in the event.

“I was surprised because when I first jumped in, my suit filled up with water and I said let me just try get a medal. I saw the girl next to me and I said, ‘gold right there Keianna – go get it’. I am a little impressed with my time because I wanted to go a high 30 but I am still pleased,” Moss said.

Carey joined the gold medal party as he secured the gold in the boys 15-17 50m backstroke. He swam a very fast race to record 26.66 seconds. His teammate Lamar Taylor came away with the silver to secure the two-highest points in that event. His time was 27.41. Jamaica’s Jordan Crooks was third as he swam 27.81 seconds.

Ian Pinder won the final gold medal of the night in the individual races as he touched the wall first in the boys 15-17 100m butterfly. His time was 56.80 seconds. St. Lucia won the silver medal as Jayhan Odlum-Smith swam the race in 57.16 seconds. Carey won bronze medal in a close 57.24 seconds.

Pinder thanked God for helping him win the race. He added that he felt good on his breakout.

“I felt good on my breakout. It felt strong as it is the strongest part of my race. I had a strong turn which is key in the 100m butterfly as I was under water. I started to fatigue a bit at the final 15-meter mark. I kept pushing because I saw that I was in the lead,” Pinder said.

With that time, he qualified for the Pan American Games “B” time.

The Bahamas will be back in the pool this morning at 9 a.m. as they look to qualify in the preliminaries for this evening finals events. They will look to extend their lead tonight as the team is on the right track as they look to defend their title from last year in Jamaica.

Simba French

Sports Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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