ICYMI THE WORLD’S FASTEST JUNIOR IS KENZO SIMONS

What may have escaped many from the region is that one of our own holds the mantle of the fastest junior swimmer in the World over short course metres . That title belongs to Kenzo Simons who represented Suriname at the CARIFTA and the now defunct Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships meets but now represents The Netherlands.

The occasion of his ascent to the Greatest of all time is almost a year ago but more than worthy of mention with the recent exploits seen at the International Swimming League that ended recently in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

Competing in Tilburg at the Dutch National Championships on December 19,2019 he actually lowered the World junior record in the 50 metre freestyle of 21.24 set by Russian Kliment Kolesnikov to an incredible 21.16 in the morning heats.

Kliment Kolesnikov .Photo courtesy of swimswam

Kliment set the record when he competed at the 2017 European Championships. At that meet Kolesnikov also won Gold medals in the 100 and 200 metre backstroke in World junior records in times of 48.99 and 1:48.02. This past weekend in the ISL competing for the Energy Standard team he set the World senior record in the 100 backstroke in a time of 48.58.

Kenzo celebrates another World Record swim

Simons had even more in the tank for the afternoon’s final. In that race he tore past the senior national record of 21.05 of teammate Jesse Puts to become the first Dutchman under 21 seconds with a swim of 20.98.

Jesse Puts with with 2016 World Championship Gold .Photo courtesy of wikipedia

Puts registered that time en route to winning Gold medal at the 2016 World Short Course Swimming Championships just ahead of the new Russian Rocket Vladimir Morozov 21.14. Puts actually finished the race with the Silver in a time of 21.49.The Bronze was won by another teammate Thom de Boer in 21.60.

That meet was a fantastic one for Kenzo as he also set new Netherlands junior record in the 100 metre freestyle as he hit the timing pads in 47.23 . The race was won by Kyle Stolk in 46.88. Another national junor record fell in the 50 metre butterfly as he took the national title in a time of 23.08.De Boer was runner up with a time of 23.45.

The list of the Fastest men ever from the region is headed by the legendary George Bovell III from Trinidad and Tobago with his blast of 20.82 from 2012.Kenzo is ranked second of all time

Goerge Bovell III Photo courtesy of sportsmax.tv

CARIFTA REGION MEN OF SPEED

NameNationTimeYear
George Bovell IIITrinidad and Tobago20.82Oct 2012
Kenzo SimonsSuriname/Netherlands20.98Dec 2019
Dylan CarterTrinidad and Tobago21.21Nov 2020
Julien SicotMartinique/France21.62Dec 2003
Roy-Allan BurchBermuda21.81Dec 2014
Mehdy MetellaFrench Guina/France21.83Nov 2016
Brett FraserCayman Islands21.78Dec 2014
Renzo Tjon a JoeSuriname  21.98Dec 2014
Hanser GarciaCuba22.04Dec 2012
Joshua McLeodTrinidad and Tobago22.12Dec 2014
Elvis BurrowsThe Bahamas22.18Dec 2014
Joshua LabanUS Virgin Islands22.22Mar 2004
Sion BrinnJamaica22.33Jan 1997
Martyn FordeBarbados22.35Feb 2010
Bermudian Olympian Roy-Allan Burch and national record holder in the 50 metre freestyle.Photo courtesy of swimbrain.com

When draftingthecaribbean after the national championships he gave some insight about the race

Kenzo readies himself at the start for another World Record swim

“Like I said instantly after my race, it was perfect. From start till finish. The push off from the block was full of power, the turn was quick and the finish felt really good. Swimming that 50 free felt amazing”.

He asked if he felt he accomplished his goals for 2019

“I sure did. Winning silver at European Juniors( LCM) was such a good feeling and the time I swam there was good”. Kenzo clocked 22.10 , the fastest ever from a junior swimmer hailing from the CARIFTA region.

Kenzo reacting to yet another World Record Swimm

At that time he spoke about his training schedule , the Olympic goal and what he needed to do to make it a reality

“I do 10 sessions a week including weight sessions.Now I am focusing on making an Olympic cut. It would feel amazing if I could go to the
Olympics next year already, especially at this age. Hard practice, keep my focus during the season and just be busy with swimming”.

SWANSONG! JAMAICA’S EMILY MacDONALD WINS TWO GOLD AND A SILVER IN FINAL FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic the  1A Florida State Championships were held on November 15 at the Sailfish Splashpark  Aquatics Athletics Center. Participating in her swansong at the 1A Championships was Jamaica’s Emily MacDonald representing the world renowned Bolles High School.

Emily training with Coach Lowe during the pre season.Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

Emily who has been a sprint mainstay for Team Jamaica for over five years was looking to leave her junior years behind her with a bang.She ensured that she was in good shape for the season by putting in the background work with local club coach Lynval Lowe of Swimaz Aquatics.

Emily putting in the work.Photo courtesy of Lynval Lowe

She got the meet off on a good note with the 200  yard medley relay.On her butterfly leg she produced the fastest split of the meet of 24.62 to help push her team to a close second with The Saint Andrews School. The race went to Saint Andrews in 1:43.35 with the Sharks taking the Silver in 1:44.37 and the Bronze to (Cutler Bay Academy of Advanced Studies) CUTB in 1:47.02

The 50 yard freestyle saw her finishing just off the medal podium with a season best of 23.56. Gold went to Erika Peleaz of South Florida Heat in 22.52, Silver to her team mate

in 22.85 and the Bronze to McKenna Smith of Academy at the Lakes 23.15.

In the 200 yard freestyle relay Manita of Bolles and and St Andrews Aspen Gersper with started the relay times of 23.33 and 23.42 respectively. Emily, who has been known to provide great relays for her school as well as Jamaica did not disappoint. She was the game changer for the state title as she threw down a split of 23.08. That opened up a lead of more than half a second. That leg proved to be decisive and the Bolles Sharks never looked back.Teammates Katherine Myers-Labenz and Sasha Ramey ensured the win and Gold in a time of 1:33.01.Saint Andrews got the Silver in 1:34.10 and The King’s Academy , the Bronze in 1:39.67.

That winning time is the second fastest time ever at the 1A Champs. Only the 2013 Bolles team with their swim of 1:32.74 have been quicker. It is also the fastest time for all the State Championships this year 1A, 2A,3A and 4A.

The final race of Emily’s career was the the 400 yard freestyle relay. She was selected to do the opening honours as she had recorded a personal best of 50.31 in the heats.  The final would see her going against two swimmers who had crowned themselves individual double State Champions .Asper Green, who had won the titles in the 100 backstroke and butterfly. Also Erika Paleaz who had taken the sprint freestyle titles. The goal was for Emily to keep pace with these two and the Gold would be with Jacksonville based school. Emily took the fight to them going out hard in 23.99 to Erika’s 23.79.The other young ladies responded on the second half of the swim. Palaez would ease to the front touching first with a time of 49.59.Aspen just out touched Emily 50.08 to 50.16.  Job completed. South Florida Heat did not have the depth as Saint Andrews and Bolles and were out of contention by the second leg as Sasha Ramey and Nicole Aguilar (Saint Andrews) handed off in times of 1:41.43 and 1;41.51.Megan McGrath opened up on Ella Martinez 2:32.35 to 2:33.07. Manita crushed the final leg to get Bolles the Gold 3:23.19. Erin Miller and her Scots team won the Silver in 3:24.76 and South Florida Heat 3:33.84.

That opening leg pushes her to fifth overall on the all time Jamaican female rankings in the 100 yard freestyle. her performances at the competition move her past Olympians Janelle Atkinson (2000 and 2004) and Dawn Kane (2000 and 2004).

Dawn Kane at the 2004
Name TimeYear
Natasha Moodie49.082011
Alia Atkinson49.642016
Kendese Nangle49.822014
Breanna Roman50.112015
Emily MacDonald50.162020
Dawn Kane50.482002
Janelle Atkinson50.522004
Former record holder in the 15- 17 girls 100 metre backstroke Kendese Nangle in 2011 Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Additionally the winning time by the 2020 Bolles team is the second fastest ever at the 1A Championships only bettered marginally by the 2019 team.The team also posted the fastest time in Florida for all the four State Championships.

First legEmily MacDonald50.81Emily MacDonald50.16
Second legManita Sathianchokwisan51.14Sasha Ramey51.27
Third legMegan McGrath50.76Megan McGrath50.92
Fourth legAdair Sand50.47Manita Sathianchokwisan50.84
Final Time 3:23.18 3:23.19

Emily has ended her high school career at the 1A Championships that has developed such international and regional standouts such Americans Ryan Murphy, Joseph Schooling , Janelle Atkinson and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace. She also ends her career with with eight medals .

Emily with medals won from the 2020 Championships
YearEventMedal
2017200 freestyle relayBronze
2018200 freestyle relaySilver
2018200 medley relayGold
2019200 freestyle relayGold
2019200 medley relayGold
2020200 yard medley relaySilver
2020200 yard free relayGold
2020400 yard free relayGold

Emily also earned the distinction having always made an individual final once entered at the Championships.

The Bolles girls won their Championships with 380 points.Second went to Saint Andrews with 293 points and third went to Cutler Bay Academy of Advanced Studies 172 points.

Bolles girls and boys combined teams


The Bolles boys amassed 501 points. Runner up was the King’s Academy with 222 points and Saint Andrews third overall with 184 points.

MARQUEZ MAKES MAJOR MOVES. CELINA SECURES OLYMPIC B TIME IN THE 200 METRE BACKSTROKE

El Salvador’s Celina Marquez is a woman on the move. Anyone tracking the trajectory of this talented swimmer would know  she was due to post a World Class backstroke  and she delivered . Competing at the US Open last week at the Sarasota Florida site, the Azura Florida Aquatics swimmer set not only a new national record but recorded an Olympic B standard time in the 200 metre backstroke of 2:13.83. Her sunny and positive disposition belies a steely determination to produce high quality swims not only for herself but her nation.

Celina

MAJOR MEETS

200 backstroke2018 CAC Games2019 PAN AM Games2020 US Open
First 5032.4331.3731.78
Second 50 36.0433.9933.00
Third 5036.2634.5334.41
Fourth 5035.6334.8734.64
Final time2:20.362:14.76 NR2:13.83 NR

As seen by her splits above she has improved in all four 50’s of her race .This improvement helped her to better the Olympic B standard of 2:14.30 in her very first competition of the season.With the first race out of the way one can look for more time drops as her speed endurance has improved well and that opening speed will come with regular competition at that high level.

At both the 2018 CAC Games and 2019 PAN AM Games she was the winner of the B finals. In both those races she beat the field by over a second and two second respectively. Her new national record and Olympic B time would have put her on the medal podium at the CAC Games in Colombia where the Gold and Silver were won by Puerto Rico’s Kristen Romano and the Dominican Republic’s Krystal Lara in times of 2:13.70 and 2:13.82 respectively.

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Marquez about her accomplishment and being strong during lock down

Celina training hard

“ I would say the swim meet went very well as it is the first time racing against people. We have been doing time trials. That had helped in getting in your own pace and getting into your own race and not thinking about others and not thinking about persons on the other side of the lane. This past weekend was an actual race and having people by my side, pushing me and pushing my limits was great .I feel so motivated. These last few months have been hard but as well rewarding. I have been improving in a lot of areas. Now that improvement has been seen as well in the pool and I am very happy for that”.

She also spoke to us about her meet schedule for 2020 and going forward

Celina and Coach Gianluca at the 2019 Pan Am Games.Photo courtesy of Team El Salvador

“We should have a couple meets left for the year. We have sectionals which will be hosted by the South Florida aquatics Club. After that I should be travelling home for the first time in a year. I have my Long course nationals there so it should be a lot of fun and a lot of races and I am happy for that. For the 2021 meet schedule I am not sure but I am sure Coach Gianluca has it all planned”.

Celina also expressed her delight about being back in the pool

“It feels good to be back racing. Putting the suit on and feeling all the nervous anticipation before a swim reminds of my first time racing and it is amazing”.

THE CARIFTA REGION’S BEST BAHAMIAN JOANNA EVANS RETURNS TO ACTION AT US OPEN WITH MEDAL WINNING PERFORMANCES

When one hears the name Joanna Evans of The Bahamas one immediately thinks of the best the CARIFTA region has to offer. She has worked hard for the moniker of the best of all time in the 200, 400 and 800 metre freestyle in the English speaking region . Last weekend Nov 12-14 was an opportunity for her to test her mettle against the high level competition at the US  Open.This year’s edition had a different feel as there were various sites due to the ongoing pandemic. But if they swam against her in the pool or posted times in other pools it is clear that Evans is among the elite wherever she is . Competing at the San Antonio site in the 200 metre freestyle and 400 metre freestyle Joanna representing the Longhorn Aquatics posted times of 1:59.16 and 4:11.28 to win the Bronze medals in the events.In her first swim back those efforts were easily under the Olympic B times of 2:00.80 and 4:15.23.

Draftingthecaribbean spoke regional standard bearer about her return to high level action

She spoke about being back in the water “ It was exciting to be back doing some real racing.I’ve been training for a while now and it was nice to get some good racing done”.

Joanna also spoke expectations about her first foray into the water” It was hard to judge where I would be as it’s been so long since I’ve raced but that was the whole intention of the meet for me to figure out where I am and what needs to be worked on”.

Coralie Balmy Photo courtesy of Coralie Balmy

In the 200 metre freestyle with a split of 58.21 she finished a close second to team mate Madisyn Cox 1:58.97.The overall title went to Paige Madden of Virginia in a time of 1:57.64.How good was that time in relation to all her swims. Well ,her last high level meet was the 2019 US Open in December 2019 where she posted a swim of 2:02.11. Last weekend’s swim ranks as her fourth fastest of all time and she still remains the only English speaking CARIFTA region swimmers under the 2 minute mark. The next fastest is Jamaican icon Janelle Atkinson with her national record of 2:01.11 (1999 Winnipeg Pan Am Games). Only Coralie Balmy (Martinique/France)1:56. 57 (2008 Beijing Olympics) Costa Rican Olympic Gold medallist Claudia Poll 1:57.48 (1997 Fukuoka Pan Pacific Championships) are faster than Evans in the CCCAN region.

Claudia Poll Photo courtesy of panamericanworld

With more competitions the distance times will drop but the fact that she has so much speed now augurs well for a very successful season and Olympic bid.Times under 1:57.00 looks a distinct possibility.

Joanna Evans about to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics Photo courtesy of swimming world

FLY GUYS , DAVIDSON AND JAYHAN LOWER HAITIAN AND ST LUCIAN RECORDS ON DAY ONE OF US OPEN

In their first major competitive outing in several months the Caribbean duo of Haiti’s Davidson Vincent and St Lucia’s Jayhan Odlum-Smith made an immediate impact in the pool.

Vincent Davidson . Photo courtesy of Azura Florida Aquatics

Davidson shattered his national mark of 57.73 with a swim of 55.34.

First 5026.6325.74
Second 5031.1129.60
Final Time57.7355.34

HISTORICAL CONTEXT

The only male swimmer to represent Haiti is Alan Sergile.He swam this event at the 1996 Summer Games and stopped the clock in a then national record of 58.23.

Jayhan Odlum-Smith Photo courtesy of Brian Charles

Also breaking new ground for his nation was St Lucia’s Jayhan Odlum-Smith. He became the first person from his nation under the 56 seconds mark. Jayhan was also the previous record holder with a time of 56.22

First 5026.5726.34
Second 5029.6529.50
Final Time56.2255.84

Jayhan who is in his final year of the 15-17 age group is not too far off the Championship record time at CCCAN and the CARIFTA Championships which stands at 55.25 set in 1997 by Puerto Rican Olympian Arsenio Lopez (1996,2000 and 2004) and 54.85 by Surinamese World Championship representative Zuhayr Pigot .

Steven Aimable.Photo courtesy of Azura Florida Aquatics

The swimmers finished 4th and 7th respectively at the Sarasota site of the US Open . This year’s edition of the Open will be swum in different locations due to the COVID epidemic. Both swimmers are conditioned at the Azura Florida Aquatics club. Their teammate Steven Aimable formerly of French Guiana now representing Senegal was second in a time of 55.09(split 26.40).

Keanan Dols

Jamaican Keanan Dols who trains with Caleb Dressel and Ryan Lochte at the Gator Swim Club also returned to high level competition placed 10th with a time of 56.18 (split time 26.35).

Kael Yorke

The top time from CARIFTA region based swimmers on the day was from Trinidad and Tobago’s Kael Yorke . He clocked a time of 54.50 (split time 25.35). Representing the University of Indianapolis he clocked the third fastest time of his career.It was just short of the 54.27 he recorded when he made his first senior international final at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games.

CARTER SETS YET ANOTHER PB IN THE 50 FREE, TAKES FIRST ISL WIN IN RELAY

As the International Swimming League progresses LA Current’s Trinidad and Tobago star continues to find new gears of speed. Match 5 proved no different and gave the bonus of his first podim topping performance with the 400 metre freestyle relay team.

Dylan getting ready to race .Photo courtesy of the ISL

The 50 metre freestyle has seen seen steady improvement with each match seeing Carter putting a fastest time on the clock. In Match 5 on October 30 in the Duna Arena in Budapest he stroked another new personal standard of 21.36. That swim also gave him his highest placing thus far in the event of sixth.

TIME DROPS IN BUDAPEST

TimeDate
21.51Oct 16
21.42Oct 24
21.36Oct 30

The sub 21 seconds gets getting closer to becoming reality.

2019 50 freestyle World Championships podium from left to right Fratus,Dressel and Gkolomeev

The event was won by his LA Current teammate by Greek teammate Kristian Gkolomeev in a time of 20.97 . The Greek is known for his speed having won the Silver medal in a tie with Brazilian Bruno Fratus in the 2019 Long course World Championships in 21.45. He also won Bronze in his last year of NCAA eligibility at their Championships in the 50 yard freestyle with a swim of 18.95 for Alabama.Both races were won by Caleb Dressel .

Dylan Carter .Photo courtesy of the ISL

There would be a first for Dylan Carter and the twin island Republic as he took his first win at the ISL in the 400 metre freestyle relay. The 25 metre pool saw the LA Current A team post a time of 3:06.24. The team of Maxime Rooney 46.70, Tom Shields 46.44, Gkolomeev 46.59 and Carter 46.51 proved to be more than a second faster than the London Roar. For Carter it was the fastest relay he had been on bettering 3:08.40 his team had clocked in 2019. It also betters his best placing of 2nd in the ISL. He also records his fastest relay split at the competition.It was also the third fastest split of the 32 swimmers.

Maximeme Rooney Photo courtesy of Swimswam/Jack Spitser

In the 50 metre butterfly he dipped under the 23 seconds barrier for the first time this season stopping the clock in 22.97.That swim would place him fifth overall.The win went to Takeshi Kawamoto with his effort of 22.38.

Guilherme Guido .Photo courtesy of esportedefato.com.br

The 50 metre backstroke saw another season best of 23.89. The victor in that event was the London Roar co Captain Brazilian Guilherme Guido. The 6’4 soldier won in a time of 22.86.

Dylan Carter .Photo courtesy of ISL

Match 5 saw the Roar pulling off the victory with 499 points. The Current Current flowed to 478.5 points.The Tokoyo Frog Kings amassed 446.5 while the DC Trident tallied 287 points.

CRISTIAN QUINTERO LOWERS DECADES OLD FREESTYLE RECORD BY FRANCISO SANCHEZ IN ISL DEBUT

Cristian Quintero .Photo courtesy of the ISL

On October 24 Venezuelan Cristian Quintero became the first swimmer from his country to compete in International Swimming league when he made his debut for the Tokyo Frog Kings. He made this historic moment even more memorable by lowering the national record in the 100 metre freestyle of Francisco Sanchez, a national ,regional and international legend.

In the four lap freestyle race Cristian stroked his way to a new personal best and national record of 47.68. to place sixth.This bettered the record that stood for almost quarter of a century. The old record stood at 47.86 when Sanchez powered his way to World Championship Gold at the 1997 edition.

Francisco Sanchez celebrating his World Champs Gold .Photo courtesy of the Venezuelan Olympic Committee
 April 19,1997October 25,2020
100 freestyleSanchez Quintero
First 5022.7522.74
Second 5025.1024.94
Final47.8547.68

Cristian was able to take it home faster with his 200 and 400 metre freestyle background. Cristian now owns all the short course metre freestyle records from the 50 to 400 for his home country.

50 metre freestyle21.65December 4,2014
100 metre freestyle47.68October 25,2020
200 metre freestyle1:42.40December 3,2014
400 metre freestyle3:41.67December 5,2014

Sanchez was an absolute sensation at the World Short Course Swimming Championships.

199550 free WSC21.80Gold
199750 free WSC21.80Gold
1995100 free WSC48.46Bronze
1997100 free WSC47.86Gold

When he took the Gold in 1997 he was the only one under the 48 seconds barrier. He also dismissed a star studded field that included Brazilian legend Gustavo Borges 48.16 who had captured the 200 frestyle world title, Australian Michael Klim who would be a future world record holder in the long course version of the event 48.21,and future Olympic champion in the 100 metre butterfly from Sweden Lars Frolander 48.24.

Sanchez celebrating qualifying for the Olympic final in the 50 metres at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics

The year before at the 1996 Summer Olympics he made the A finals in both the 50 and 100 metre freestyle, a featthat has not yet been emulated by his countrymen.

Sanchez at the 2018 Arizona State University Hall of Fame inductionceremony.Photo courtesy of University of Arizona Sports

He would be inducted in the Hall of Fame by his alma mater Arizona State University.The school is now coached by Michael Phelps’ coach Bob Bowman. He is one of the school’s NCAA champion having won the 50 yuard freestyle crown in 1996 with a time of 19.35. He is still the school record holder in the event with a time of 19.32

Quintero, who is building quite a legacy for himself also recorded times of 3:46.30 for 7th in the 400 metre freestyle,1;43.66 placing 5th in the 200 metre freestyle and and anchored the Frog Kings to fourth overall in 47.30. He split 47.30 doing his last leg duties.

Draftingthecaribbean got a chance to Quintero and speak to him about the ISL as well as record breaking achievement. He told us first how he got to participate in the ISL

“I got into the Tokyo Frog Kings as replacement for Olympic gold medallist Mack Horton. After most of the Australians were forced to retire out of the meet by their government, Team Manager Togo Nagai and General Manager Kosuke Kitajima ( 100 and 200 metre breaststroke Gold medallist Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008)invited me to be part of their team. This obviously was a great opportunity for me, so I immediately accepted their proposal”.

Kosuke Kitajima clebrating Gold at the 2004 Olympics.Photo courtesy of abc

Cristian described training with the team

“Training with the Frog Kings has been incredibly fun and challenging at the same time. Under the instructions of Technical Director Dave Salo, practices usually start with a couple of sets of very detailed fast work. After that we split into different groups. Coach Salo takes on the short sprint group, while I train with the middle sprint group under renowned Japanese coach Yoji Suzuki. Under Yoji-sensei, I’ve done more IM work in a couple of days than I’ve done in the entire year, which is a big challenge for me. However, training next to teammates like and Katsushiro Matsumoto makes practice incredibly exciting and competitive”.

Insight was also provided about bubble life

Life in bubble has been exactly what I expected. We spend most of the day either inside our rooms, or at the pool. Some days we get to go the gym or even go on small walks around Margaret Island which is incredibly beautiful and relaxing. However, most of the time it really is inside our rooms. It can be a little boring sometimes, but a couple of books and a lot of chat with my family keeps me entertained most of the time. 
Futhermore, there are a lot of rules and regulations inside the bubble that we must follow, like wearing a face mask most of the time outside our rooms, regular PCR tests, body temperature checks every time we go into a building, and so more. These are medical procedures that are meant to keep us, and everyone around us, safe; so following them it’s no problem at all.

Cristian who is an individual NCAA Champion having the 2015 200 yard freestyle crown spoke about his new national record

Cristian celebrating NCAA Gold.Photo courtesy of LATimes

 “I was not aware of the record neither before nor after the race. I learned about it yesterday, almost a full day after the race haha. Before the race, my main focus was to secure some points for my team. I knew it was going to be extremely difficult to be on the top of that race, so my focus was to remain as close as possible to the field and avoid getting my points stolen”.

He also paid tribute to Sanchez iconic status in the swimming community

“Most Venezuelan swimmers know, or at least have heard, of Francisco (El Tiburón) Sánchez. Along with Rafael Vidal and Alberto Mestre, he is one of the most prominent figures in Venezuelan swimming”.

Quintero also spoke about his long layoff and relishing the opportunity to compete

“My last competitions were the U.S. Open in Atlanta and  Spain’s Cup in Madrid, both on December 2019. So it’s really fun and exciting to be able to race again after 10 challenging months”.

Cristian is in action this weekend and is expected to drop more time as the ISL continues.

CARTER PUTS 100 BACKSTROKE RECORD ON NOTICE WITH SECOND FASTEST CAREER PERFORMANCE

Dylan Carter of the LA Current signalled that his national record in the 100 metre backstroke is on borrowed time with a very strong performance in the event today.

Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of Dylan Carter

The Trinidad and Tobago erased his season best from a just over a week ago of 51.28 to stop the clock in 50.85. As the ISL has progressed he is beginning to find great form.Not only has his opening speed improved but his ability to hold and maintain that speed has become better.

100 backstrokeOct 17Oct 25
First 5024.2724.13
Second 5027.1026.72
Final Time51.2750.85

Carter was actually in second at the halfway mark before finishing fourth. The national record of 50.58 is in serious jeopardy of being lowered before the end of the ISL season is completed. Of the swimmers in the CARIFTA and CCCAN federations Dylan is the only one to have broken 51 seconds and he has now done it twice.

Ryan Murphy .Photo courtesy of the ISL

Gold went to Ryosuke Irie of the Tokyo Frog Kings in a time of 49.91. He threatened his Japanese national record of 49.65. Irie won the Bronze at the World Championships in this event in 2014 in 50.12.Second place went to Irishman Shane Ryan of the Toronto Titans in 50.22. The reigning World Championship Silver medallist in the 50 metre backstroke lowered his national record from 50.41. Third place went to Carter’s teammate and current World Champion in the event and Olympic Champion in the long course pool American Ryan Murphy in 50.42. The LA Current’s Team Manager Lenny Krayzelburg swept the backstroke events for the US at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Lenny Krayzelburg. Photos courtesy of the Lenny Krazyleburg Swim Academy and the ISL

The LA Current took the win with 535.50 points. The Tokyo Frog Kings were next best with 506.5 points. Third place was occupied by the Toronto Titans with 401 points. The Aqua Centurions re fourth with 260 points.

Dylan continuing to fly the flag of The Republic with pride

CARTER CONTINUES TO GET FASTER IN BUDAPEST, DROPS PB’S IN THE FREESTYLE SPRINTS

The LA Current’s Trinidad and Tobago star Dylan Carter continued to increase his speed with the lowering of his personal bests at the International Swimming League in Budapest yesterday.

Dylan prepares to race the 50 metre freestyle.Photo courtesy of ISL

Competing in the Duna Arena in Budapest Carter stroked his way to a new personal best in the 50 metre freestyle. His previous personal best of 21.51 in this short course metres format was a week and a day ago. He improved in his reaction to the gun with time a of 0.60 compared to 0.63. That quicker start helped in improving his time to 21.42.He finished seventh overall.

The win went to two time World Champion in the event Vladimir Morozov in a time of 20.98. Morozov ,who like Carter is an alumus from University of Southern California switched teams from Team Iron to new team Tokyo Frog Kings. Carter’s LA Current team Kristian Gkolomeev placed second in 21.04.

In the 400 freestyle relay Carter would lead off the Current B team in yet another personal best.He showed increased front end and closing speed. His prior 100 metre freestyle stood at 47.55 just under two years ago at the FINA World Cup tour in Tokyo Japan.

100 freestyle20182020
First 5022.7922.59
Second 5025.0124.96
Final Time47.7547.55


Christou Apostolos

Teammates Greek Christou Apostolos 46.94, American Andrew Seliskar 48.56 and Brazilian Fernando Scheffer 47.61 combined for a total time of 3:10.66. The win went to the Aqua Centurions in 3:04.93.

Dylan Carter .Photo courtesy of ISL

Carter will be looking to set a new personal best in the 100 metre backstroke today.

ALIA CLAIMS SECOND BREASTSTROKE VICTORY, PLACES SECOND IN SPRINT MEDLEY AS ROAR WINS MATCH 2 OF ISL

Commander Atkinson at ease with the London Roar. Photo courtesy of adiimages.

Three time World Champion in the 100 metre breaststroke Jamaican Alia Atkinson stamped her class in the event on October 19 at the International Swimming League Match 2 Day 2. Competing for the London Roar in the Duna Arena in Budapest Hungary. She had no equal for both halves of the race . The first 50 belonged to the swimming Icon as she touched the pads in 30.26.The last stanza she again had no equal splitting 33.95 for a total time of 1:04.21. The Italian duo of Martina Carraro and Arianna Castigliono of the Aqua Centurions tried to make a race of it in the last few metres but Atkinson timed the race to perfection. Carraro took second in 1:04.49 and Castigliono third in 1:04.64.

Race Coverage

Atkinson ISL’s record in the event now stands at five victories from six starts. Her only loss was to American Olympian and fellow Texas A& M alum Breeja Larson who represented New York Breakers in Lewisville Texas on Oct 20,2019.

Atkinson practising her starts in Hungary

Earlier in the day in the shortest sprint medley race, the the 100 metres Commander Atkinson and Russian teammate Maria Kameneva ensured maximum points for the Roar.Maria took the win in 58.97. What was significant was the turn of pace from Alia in the second half of the race. She blazed from 5th to the second place in a time of 58.97. At the halfway mark she was timed in 28.16. She then turned in the fastest second 50 metres of the ISL so far this season of 30.81. Her medley speed should be a suprise to no one as she is not only the fastest woman of all time in Jamaica, and the CARIFTA region and CCCAN federations she is also the the tenth fastest in history with her personal record of 57.84. In UANA federation that includes swimming power houses the United States,Canada and Mexico only Canadian Kayla Sanchez is faster in ninth place with a swim of 57.80.

Photo courtesy of swimmingstats

HISTORICAL CONTEXT

George Bovell III .Photo courtesy of ADN project

Only one other swimmer has such a prestigious standing in the sprint medley. That is none other than the legendary George Bovell III from Trinidad and Tobago. His blast of 51.15 from the 2013 World CUP is also another national record and CARIFTA and CCCAN federation best. In UANA history only swimmer is faster than George and that is American Ryan Lochte with his effort of 50.71. Both swimming stalwarts shared the 200 individual medley podium at the 2004 Athens with Lochte winning the Silver and Bovell the Bronze, the only medal for the English speaking Caribbean nations so far.

100 IM All time standings.Photo courtesy of swimmingstats

Atkinson and Bovell also share the distinction of being the only swimmers from the CARIFTA and CCCAN federations to grace the World Championships podium. Bovell was the first with his Bronze at the 2012 edition in Turkey with a swim of 51.66 .Four years later Atkinson matched the feat with a Bronze of her own in Canada with a swim of 58.04.

Alia Atkinson and head Coach of the London Roar Melanie Marshall .Photo courtesy of the London Roar

The victory after two days belonged to the Roar. They won emphatically with a total score of 609.50 points. Second was Team Iron with 392.50 points.DC Trident tallied 350 points and fourth were the Aqua Centurions with 344 points.