As the final qualification date for Rio Olympic qualification gets closer the CARIFTA region swimmers continue to better their national records as they seek to book their tickets to Brazil. Jordy Groters of Aruba, Dustin Tynes of the Bahamas and Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago are the latest crop of swimmers to lead an assault on their countries record books.
The results we are seeing now from our top swimmers are the culmination of yards of hard work, training and dedication. In the breaststroke discipline two swimmers Jordy Groters and Dustin Tynes have honed their craft to the point where each year has seen improvement in the 100 metre event. Since 2009 both swimmers have competed through the 11-12 ranks to the 15-17 category at the CARIFTA championships along the way they have set Championship records. Both competed at the PAN Games in 2015 in Toronto and the World Long Course Championships in Kazan .After representing their schools Missouri (Groters) and Ohio State (Tynes) with distinction at the recent 2016 NCAA Division 1 Championships they would compete in a 2016 Georgie Tech Men’s Collegiate Invitational long course meet on Sunday March 27.
Tynes, already under the Olympic B qualifying time of 1:02.69 would better his national record yet again .At the PAN Games in Toronto where he set both the 50 and 100 metre standards in one race he would do the same in Georgia. Going out in 28.39 at the 50 metre mark he bettered his July 2015 mark of 28.55. Coming home he would become possibly the first man from the region under 1:02 as he hit the wall in 1:01.56 .That time was under the Rio B time of 1:02.69 and less than a second away from the automatic qualifying time of 1:00.57. That performance would have placed him 28th at the 2012 London Olympic Games and 29th at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Groters would not be left out of the record breaking as he took out the race slower than his national record pace of 29.64 with a 29.78 split .But he would carry it home faster than he did in Kazan Russia with a 33.44 last leg. That put him at 1:03.22 under his old mark of 1:03.64 and ever closer to the Rio 2016 B time.
At the London 2012 Olympic Games George Bovell III of Trinidad and Tobago swimming in lane 8 won heat 2 of the 100 metre backstroke in a time of 55.22.With that performance he put up possibly the best time ever done by a swimmer from the CARIFTA region in that event. In 2013 countryman Dylan Carter came close to that at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Dubai with a 55.36. At the senior World Championships in Russia in 2015 he would be tantalizingly close when he stopped the clock in 55.24.On Wednesday April 6 at the Canadian Olympic Trials at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre he made no doubt who is possibly the fastest man ever from the CARIFTA region in the event. Swimming only the morning heat Carter became the first swimmer from Trinidad and Tobago to go under the 55 seconds barrier. He touched in a new national senior record of 54.94 .That performance is well under the RIO B time of 56.26 and just off the automatic qualifying mark of 54.36.That swim would have placed him 26th at the London 2012 Olympics and 23rd at the Beijing Games.