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The Bahamas looking to hold on to top spot

WILDEY, Barbados – The Bahamas has qualified to compete in nearly every final event during the preliminary session of the 34th CARIFTA Swimming Championships on Tuesday morning, as the team looks to bring home even more hardware on the final day of competition.

Head coach Travano McPhee said The Bahamas had some of the fastest swimmers in the heats.

“The day was good, we got a lot back in the 50-meters (m) freestyle,” he said. “In the 400m freestyle, we got some personal best times for the senior girls – Anya MacPhail and Kaliyah Albury swam outstanding.

“We have some of the fastest heats coming back tonight. We will see how that goes.”

Ninety percent of the Bahamians swimmers that competed in the 100m breaststroke advanced to the finals.

The Bahamas has 10 out of a possible 12 swimmers vying for medals in tonight’s 100m backstroke races.

McPhee is hoping the swimmers will continue to perform at a high level.

“It is not easy coming back on the last day after a four-day meet. Some of the swimmers have swam over seven or eight events. It is good to see them get up and achieve personal best times,” McPhee said.

MacPhail, one of the team captains, said team’s energy is still there. She competed in 13 races so far in the competition.

“The team has been doing really well. A lot of people stepped up where it was needed to get those few extra points, to get us in the lead. It is day four and we are getting a little tired, but we are still performing well,” MacPhail said.

“We all still have a lot of energy on day four and I haven’t seen that at my past CARIFTA. Everyone is still ready to swim and ready to support.”

With The Bahamas still in the lead, coach McPhee said: “On the first day we always try to jump out in the lead. That sets the way for the last three days. Our second day was a little bit rough for us as far as expanding our lead, but we maintained it. On the third day we also extended the lead to over 100 points. We are looking to go up by another 30 points by the end of tonight.”

Coach McPhee said he was really surprised to see how much total medals the team had after last night. Last year the team finished with 56 total medals. Currently, the team has 55 medals – 28 golds, 13 silvers and 14 bronze, after three days in the pool.

They stand a chance add another 15 or more medals with the 100m breaststroke, the 400m freestyle and the 4x50m relays scheduled for tonight.

On the points standings, The Bahamas leads Jamaica by 102.50 points after day three of competition. The Bahamas has 667.50 points. Jamaica has 565 points. Trinidad and Tobago sits in third with 497 points.

OurTv channel 212 will broadcast the championships live at 8 p.m

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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