CARIFTA 2018 in Kingston Jamaica would be the last for University of Miami Ohio bound Bryanna Renuart.t would also in front of her home crowd. Renuart who had been a mainstay in the Jamaican team since the 11-12 age group had been a major points contributor in the breaststroke and individual medley events but had never tasted Gold in an individual event. That would all change on April 1.
Swimming in the second heat of the timed finals of the 400 individual medley in the afternoon she broke free of the field from the opening butterfly leg with a split of 1:10.10. she would not relinquish that lead at any point in the race and in fact built on it to win by more than seven seconds in a new PB of 5:07.30. The Silver went Lilly Higgs of The Bahamas in 5:14.30 and the Bronze to Sam Bailey of The Cayman Islands in 5:19.11.
That ended a five year Gold medal drought for Jamaica as the last time the country was a top of the long medley podium in this category was in 2013 in front of a home crowd through the efforts of Zara Bailey.It was only the third time in the last 20 years that a Jamaican had won the 400 Individual medley in the category for girls. Olympian Alia Atkinson had won Gold as well in 2006.
When Draftingthecaribbean contacted her on April 14 she had this reaction to her Gold medal winning performance
“I really wasn’t expecting to win any individual CARIFTA events because Lilly Higgs is such a dominant swimmer so I was completely shocked. Even during the race I had no idea I was winning. Standing on the top of the podium and hearing the Jamaican anthem playing because of something I accomplished was incredible.The atmosphere at this CARIFTA from my perspective was the most electric swim meet I’ve ever been to. Having a home crowd reminded the Jamaican team how meaningful it is to represent our country and the extra people cheering for us led to some stand-out swims.”