DANIEL MAIR CREATES HISTORY FOR JAMAICA WITH FIRST CCCAN OPEN WATER MEDAL

When the CCCAN open water swimming competition concluded in Aruba history was created for Jamaica as Daniel Mair became the first ever medallist in this discipline .This as he won the Silver medal in the 12-13 age group in the 3K event held at Mangel Halto.

Dols Open water 2015
Michelle Dols 2015 CARIFTA 15-17 5K Open Water Silver medallist Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

 

Prior to this the only medals won in  age group competition was  Dominic Walter who won the Silver in the 5 K event at the now defunct Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships  at the 2010 edition in Cuba in a time of 104.5.33 ,Michelle Dols who earned a Silver medal in the 2015 in the 5K event at CARIFTA in Barbados and Annabella Lyn who won CARIFTA Bronze at home in Jamaica in the same event this year.

Anna 5K Bronze Jamaica
Annabella Lyn CARIFTA 2018 15-17 5K Bronze medallist Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

 

Dominic Walter 2011
Dominic Walter 2010 CISC 14-17 5k Open Water Silver medallist

 

When draftingthecaribbean contacted Mair on July 18 he spoke about qualification for the competition as well events of the day of the swim from getting off the bus to the actual race

PREPARATION 

“The truth is I really wasn’t trying to qualify for CCCAN Open Water. In an effort to improve on my 1500 metre freestyle free I achieved a time that qualified me for the  open water event. So training for the open water event had to be somewhat of a crash course as it was going to be my first time. I trained at Port Royal three Sunday mornings with a group of adults who knew how to swim open water, and sometimes with competitive swimmers. We swam between 1,000-3,000 metres up and down the shoreline. I also did one session in the pool where I learned how to start, turnaround the buoys and spot . One of my main objectives during training was getting over my fear of what lives in the sea and I would say after my first training session in the ocean I quickly overcame that fear. I am 100% sure that these sessions helped my performance”.

ANTICIPATION

“When I got out of the bus and went to look at the course, it was a lot larger than I expected and honestly that made me very nervous. Also that morning I had to go through many different stages to get ready for the race. For instance, I had to go to a medical check, cut my nails, get my number put on me, Vaseline my body, put my tracker on, and all of this was happening very fast and everybody was frantic and trying to get everything done.It was a bit distracting at the time but a few minutes before the race I just tuned everything out and focused on my race and doing my best”.

Mair in action H wilson
Daniel Mair in action during the 3K Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

EVOLUTION OF THE RACE

“So as I mentioned already the track looked very large in real life, it was a rectangle and one lap around it would be equal to 1 km so we had to do three laps And at the time it seemed like a lot. My start was not very good because I didn’t know what was going on so when they blew the whistle to go I was confused and started at the back of the pack. As I settled I was able to secure a second place spot. First place seemed out of reach because the person in first place had gone way before me from the start. In the first quarter of the first lap I was racing a Trinidadian girl and she fell back quite quickly and after she fell back Aruban Ronald Fun  caught up to me and for about two laps we were staying head to head. He was in front of me sometimes, I was in front of him sometimes but after the second lap he fell back and I went forward. After the second lap I felt really good, I started to warm up and as a result my legs started to feel energized and ready to kick so I kicked and pulled and I just went all out on the third lap and when I saw the finish on the last quarter I just went full speed and when I touched that pad I gave it my all”.

Daniel Mair with Mom
Daniel celebrating his Silver medal medal performance with mother Jodi Photo courtesy of C.C.C.AN

HISTORY CREATED

“When I got out of the ocean and walked back up to my coach and mom  I was glad  that the race was finally over and I could rest because CCCAN was now officially over. I went up to my coach and my mom and sat down, took some deep breaths, drank some water and relaxed and I looked over to my coach. She showed me my time and my placement and I asked her if that was a silver medal and she said yes.  I was very happy. Later on I was awarded the medal and that’s when it clicked. That I had won an individual medal at CCCAN and that every long, hard distance set that I had done in training had finally paid off”.

 

The medal podium saw Trinidad and Tobago’s Nikoli Blackman topping the event with a time of 45.15.01 , Mair the Silver in 48.11.73 and Fun the Bronze in 48.55.95.

12-13 CCCAN open water
Medallists in the 12-13 3K event from left to right Mair Silver medallist, Nikoli Blackman of Trinidad and Tobago Gold Medallist and Aruban Ronald Fun Bronze medallist Photo courtesy of C.C.C,A.N

 

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SCORCHING SUMMER 18 RENZO RULES THE POOL WITH SPEED COMPLETES 50 FREESTYLE TRIFECTA ,SOUTH AMERICAN GAMES, CCCAN AND NOW CAC

The summer of 2018 had proven to be hot but Suriname’s Olympian Renzo Tjon A Joe has proven to be to be just as hot in the pool in  swimming’s fastest event the 50 metre freestyle taking  titles at the South American Games, CCCAN in Aruba and now the CAC (Central American Games).

Renzo South american
Renzo celebrating South American Games Gold in the 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of therenzotjonajoeofficial fan page

BOLIVIAN BLAST OFF

The summer sizzle started in Cochabamba Bolivia at the South American Games when he entered the competition with a  career best placing of a Bronze medal in Chile in 2014 with a time of 22.88. But there were be no swimmer to best him in Bolivia as on May 29 he took the event in his best time at the Championships of 22.65.At the G.A.M.C. Aquatics Center at Mariscal Santa Cruz Park he staved off the challenges of Venezuelan Olympian Cristian Quintero 22.71 and Brazilian André Calvelo 22.80. The first stage of the regional tour was complete and the first Gold was in the chest.

Renzo CCCAN
18 and over 50 freestyle medallists Greene, Tjon A Joe and Reyes Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

ACCELERATING IN ARUBA

Renzo never stepped off the gas when competing at the CCCAN Championships at the Pisina Olimpico Roly Bisslik in Aruba. He treated the crowd at hand to a sub 23 clocking in the morning heats on July 3 with a time of 22.86. The audience at hand would get another opportunity of viewing  elite speed when he took the final in a time of 22.88. Silver in the race went to Bahamian Gershwin Greene 23.52 and the Bronze to Panama’s Franco Reyes in 23.65.

CAC 50 free medallists
CAC 50 metre freestyle medallists Photo courtesy of Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe Barranquilla 2018

COLOMBIAN CONFIRMATION

When Renzo arrived in Barranquilla Colombia his appetite for regional Gold had not been satisified and he was a man on a mission to win all 50 metre freestyle races . In  Veracruz, Mexico four years earlier he had the earned the second rung on the podium with a time of 22.62. Winning the Gold was regional legend and Olympic medallist Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell III who completed his own trifecta of CAC Gold medal wins in the event 2006 22.67,2010 22.23 and then 2014 22.30.

The morning heats gave him the top time of 22.28 , mere 5 hundredths of a second off the Championship record. History beckoned in the final. When the gun fired in the evening’s Championship final on Wednesday July 28 it would be another Olympian from the twin island republic that had the early lead as Dylan Carter worked his underwater kicks well to have the initial advantage. Renzo seeing that early surge being right beside him was building into his swim. He cut into that lead until the two CARIFTA region stars were about even at the 25 metre mark .

Renzo points to scorboard
Renzo points to scoreboard after setting a new PB, NR and CAC Games record Photo courtesy of Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe Barranquilla 2018

Renzo edged ahead after that and maintained that lead into the wall to win and crown himself the THE FASTEST MAN IN THE REGION  and take the Gold in a new PB , national record and CAC Games record of 22.18. Silver went to Carter in 22.38 and the Bronze to Venezuela’s Alberto Mestre 22.47.

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK 

Don’t call it a comeback
I’ve been here for years
I’m rocking my peers

In the words of legendary rapper LL Cool J don’t call it a comeback . The victories by Renzo cannot be seen as a comeback but another highlight of Renzo’s sprint legacy and him leading his cohort from the CARIFTA region in this event from the junior ranks.

Renzo CARIFTA 2013
Renzo Tjon A Joe reacts to winning Gold in the 15-17 metre freestyle in 2013 Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

 

As juniors Renzo and Dylan had another hotly contested 50 metre freestyle at CARIFTA 2013 on a hot night in Kingston on April 2 .Renzo had set the then CARIFTA record of 23.37 in the heats before nipping Carter for Gold in the final 23.44 to 23.46. The victory a first for Suriname at the CAC Games was also the 20th fastest in the world.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Renzo he spoke about the CAC victory and training leading up to this moment

“It’s been a long road to getting back in race shape post Rio 16. I had taken a small “break” from the sport to focus on my academics. I credit my past 3 victories to training with Sergio Lopez and Tyler McGill. I officially got back in the pool January 2018 and my goal honestly this summer was just getting back to swimming fast. I had no idea it would’ve happened this quickly. Dylan played a huge role in my swim last night, It’s always exciting racing against him because of our shared history.

George Bovell
Goerge Bovell III Photo courtesy of sportsmax.tv

Getting George Bovell’s record also meant a lot since he’s some I’ve always looked up to and still do.He’s an Olympic medalist and has a legendary status.The trifecta and a best time just sealed a perfect  summer”.

He also elaborated about his future training plans

Bruno-Fratus-swimswam
Bruno Fratus Photo courtesy of swimswam.com

I will be moving down to South Florida  to train with Olympians Australian Coach Brett Hawke and Brazilian Bruno Fratus (2017 World Championships 50 metre freestyle Silver medallist )”.

On the horizon for the rest of the year will be the South American championships November 8-12 Trujillo,Peru, Swim Cup Amsterdam October 19 to 21 Amsterdam Netherlands and the 2018 World Short Course Swimming championships Hangzhou China Dec 7 -11.

 

 

 

THREE CAC GOLD MEDALS THE CARIFTA WAY OLYMPIANS EVANS, CARTER AND ATKINSON WIN THEIR RACES IN RECORD TIME

Friday July 21 at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean saw three of the CARIFTA region’s biggest stars Olympians Joanna Evans of The Bahamas , Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago and Alia Atkinson of Jamaica win Gold in Games Record times.

Joanna Evans posing 400
Joanna posing for pictures after her victory Photo courtesy of Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe Barranquilla

The historic Gold Rush was started by Evans in the 400 metre freestyle.She easily qualified for the Championship final with a time of 4:16.63  . Her medal final saw  her putting on masterclass on how to swim the event.The race was effectively over as a contest when Joanna took out the first 50 metres in 28.80. At the 100 metre mark when she split 59.59  the question on everyone’s mind was how much she would lower the 2010 Games record of 4:11.36 Venezuelan Olympian Adreina Pinto. With a final 50 metres of 31.61 she would just get by the record with a time of 4:11.15. With her win she becomes only the Second woman from the CARIFTA region to win Gold in the event following Suriname’s Carolyn Adel victory in 1998. Evans also upgrades her Silver medal from 2014 to Gold and moves from a tie with Jamaican Olympian Janelle Atkinson as the best placed English speaking swimmer in the event. She also joins  Mexican Maria Souza as the only women to have won Silver and Gold in the event. Souza took Silver in 1959 before going on to win Gold in 1962 in Kingston Jamaica.

400 metre freestyle podium
400 metre freestyle medallists Photo courtesy of Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe Barranquilla

Silver went to Mexico’s Allyson Macias Alba in 4:14.74 and the Bronze to Costa Rica’s Helena Moreno Hernandez in 4:15.51

Dylan Carter trinidad express

Carter ensured the CARIFTA Golden streak with his own historic swim .After making the final as the second seed with a time of 49.24 . It would be time to bring SHOWTIME to Barranquilla Colombia Team TTO style. When the gun started it be another CARIFTA region star that would take out the first 50 metres as Suriname’s Olympian Renzo Tjon A Joe split 23.03. However Carter split 23.29 worked his underwaters and when he popped up it was SHOWTIME . He came home in the second fastest 50 metres of 25.66 to take the Gold in a new Games Record of 48.95 , the first CAC Games swimmer under 49 seconds. That bettered the 2014 Games record of 49.00 held by Cuban Olympian Hanser Garcia. With his record swim he became the first Man to win the 100 metre freestyle crown from the CARIFTA region as the previous best placing had been Silver medals won by countryman Olympian Mark Andrews in 1986 and Cayman Islands Olympian Shaune Fraser in 2006. Team TTO now has a complete set of medal in the events rounded out by Olympic medal winner George Bovell III’s Bronze in 2006. Silver went Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders in yet another national record time of 49.17 , the first medal ever for Aruba in the event. Bronze went to Jorge Andres Iga Cesar in 49.28. Tjon A Joe placed fifth in a time of 49.38 and Barbados Olympian Alex Sobers eighth in a personal best time of 50.51. Both swimmers were just off their respective national records of 49.29 and 50.40. Carter spoke about this journey to 100 metre freestyle Gold to TEAM TTO

 

 

 

Anchoring this Golden run on the opening day of the CAC Games was Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson . After bettering her old Games record of 1:10.24 in the morning heats  she was the second seed with a 1:08.00. Also under the record was Byanca Rodriquez Villanuev who just edged Alia with a time of 1:07.99.The two ladies swam in the last of the morning heats side by side.Rodriquez Villanuev had gained the early advantage then with a split of 31.28 to Atkinson’s 31.32. So the setting was clear for the final as it would be between Byanca and Alia. In the Championship final there would be no synchronized swimming as Alia got her customary bullet start and gave the field too much to handle with a split of 30.85. After an excellent pullout she also turned in the best last 50 metre of 35.98 to ensure that the CAC Games record remained in Jamaica with a final time of 1:06.83.

Alia-Atkinson
Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of heppdesigns.com

With the that win she breaks the tie with Mexico’s Silvia Rivero who won the titles in 1982 and 1986 as she now has crowned herself Queen on three occasions 2006, 2010 and now 2018. Atkinson is also the 11th fastest woman in the world with that swim.She is still the only woman from the CARIFTA region to medal in the event. Silver went to Rodriquez Villanuev in 1:07.80 and her countrywoman Esther Gonzalez Medina  in 1:10.60. The deep talent pool spread across the region was evident at The Bahamas duo of Lilly Higgs  1:11.32 and Laura Morley 1:12.34 placed fifth and sixth respectively in the Championship final

 

 

ARUBAN OLYMPIAN MIKEL SCHREUDERS SETS HIGHER STANDARDS WITH LOWERING OF 100 METRE FREESTYLE NATIONAL RECORD

Mikel Schreuders Olympian wikipedia
Olympian Mikel Schreuders at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Photo courtesy of wikipedia.com

Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders continues to get quicker and raise the bar for Aruban swimming at each international competition he attends. This morning in the heats of the 100 metre freestyle would prove no different. This as he qualified for the Championship final and also became the first swimmer from Aruba under the 50 seconds barrier.

Mikel S 2017 mutigers

At the 2017 Budapest World Championships he was  close to breaking that barrier when he touched in a time of 50.12 (split time 24.26). This morning there would be nothing left to chance as he stopped the clock in  49.90 (split 24.04)  to be the 4th seed overall.He now a mere .10 of a second of the 2019 PAN AM automatic qualifying mark of 49.80

In the Championship final he will be aiming to be first medallist from Aruba  at the Games in this event.

DYLAN CARTER CHASES HISTORY IN THE 100 METRE FREESTYLE AT CAC GAMES, RECORDS FASTEST TIME EVER BY SWIMMER FROM TTO AT MEET

This morning ‘s heats of the 100 metre freestyle at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla Colombia saw teammates Olympian Dylan Carter and 2017 World Championships representative Joshua Romany qualifying for the Championship final and B final respectively.

Romany placed 12th with a time of 51.26 (split time 24.38) .He will contest the B final slated to dive off at 8:16 pm local.

Dylan Carter instagram freestyle
Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of uscswim on Instagram

Carter qualified for the Championship final with a time of 49.24 (split time 23.55) to be the second seed heading to the 8:22 final. That time recorded by Carter is the fastest time ever done in the 100 freestyle at the CAC Games. The number one seed is  Mexican  Jorge Andres Iga Cesar who posted 49.07 just off the 2014 Games record of 49.00 by Cuban Olympian Hanser Garcia.

alberto-mestre-db66c5c5-0aa5-438f-aa5c-354f0df1726-resize-750
Alberto Mestre Photo courtesy of

Third seed is Venezuela’s Alberto Mestre who stopped the clock in 49.69. Others from the CARIFTA region joining Carter in the final are Olympian Mikel Schreuders who posted anew national record of 49.90 for fourth overall and Suriname’s Olympian Renzo Tjon A Joe fifth in 50 seconds flat.

Carter will be seeking to become the first swimmer from TTO to lift the 100 freestyle crown . In 2006 the legendary Olympic medallist George Bovell III won Bronze in 50.19.

Alberto Mestre 1982 thehill.org
Alberto Mestre in 1982 Photo courtesy of thehill.org

 

In 1986 Olympian Mark Andrews won the Silver in a time of 52.21 finishing the behind Venezuala’s Alberto Mestre who won in 51.31.That Mestre is the father of the third seed Alberto who is competing today.

Carter will seek to do one better than countryman Andrews later this evening and also lower the Championship record as his personal best and national record stands at 48.60 from this year’s Commonwealth Games

 

Renzo Tjon A Joe seeks regional sprint hat trick at CAC Games after 50 metre freestyle wins at South American Games and CCCAN

Suriname’s Olympian Renzo Tjon A Joe will be looking for a regional tri fecta in the 50 metre. So far this season he claimed the FASTEST SWIMMER title at the 2018 South American Games in Bolivia and the CCCAN Championships in Aruba and will be seeking to do the same in Colombia. At the Rio Olympics he was the CAC region’s top sprinter placing 21st

Renzo South american
Renzo celebrating South American Games Gold in the 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of therenzotjonajoeofficial fan page

He started his hot streak at the G.A.M.C. Aquatics Center at Mariscal Santa Cruz Park in Cochabamba in May when he  topped the sprinters in a time of 22.65. Winning the Silver was Venezuela’s Cristian Quintero who touched in 22.71 and Brazilian André Calvelo took the Bronze in 22.80.

Renzo CCCAN
18 and over 50 freestyle medallists Greene, Tjon A Joe and Reyes Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

He would strike more Gold at the CCCAN championships at Pisina Olimpico Roly Bisslik in  early July when he was the only sub 23 seconds swimmer as he clocked 22.88  after being 22.86 in the heats. Silver went to Gershwin Greene of The Bahamas in 23.52 and the Bronze was won by Franco Reyes of Panama in 23.65.

He will now set about the challenge of taking his first CAC Games title after winning Silver in Veracruz Mexico in 22.62.Winning on that occasion was legendary regional swimmer Olympic medallist George Bovell III of Trinidad and Tobago who won his third consecutive title. Defending the throne this time for the twin island republic will be Olympian Dylan Carter and Joshua Romany. He would be familiar with the duo swimming against them in the junior ranks at CARIFTA.

Renzo CARIFTA 2013
Renzo Tjon A Joe reacts to winning Gold in the 15-17 metre freestyle in 2013 Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

They also finished in the order Renzo 23.44, Dylan 23.46 and Joshua 24.27 in  2013 in Kingston Jamaica when he set then fastest time for CARIFTA  23.37 in the heats before taking Gold.

Izaak celebrates
Bastian celebrates Record swim Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

The swimmer that that took that record from him Izaak Bastian at CARIFTA 2018 also in Jamaica with a time of 23.25 will also be in the 50 metre freestyle lineup trying to deny him the triple.

In 2014 at the South American Games in Chile he finished with the Bronze with 22.88 and this year he upgraded it to Gold. After winning the Silver in  Veracruz Mexico will we see Renzo mining Colombian Gold? Will he also be able to break his own national record which is the same time as the 2010 Games record held by Bovell at 22.23 ?

 

SERGINNI MARTEN LOOKS FOR MORE PERSONAL BESTS AT CAC AFTER NATIONAL RECORD SWIM IN 200 BREASTSTROKE AT CCCAN

Curaçao’s Serginni Marten will be going to the Central American and Caribbean Games which start on July 20 in Barranquilla, Colombia a confident swimmer after a national record breaking swim in the 200 metre breaststroke at the CCCAN Championships in Aruba.

Sergio CCCAN
Marten about to get on the blocks for morning swim Photo courtesy of CCCAN

Before the competition got underway at the Pisina Olimpico Roly Bisslik on June 29 his personal best and national record stood at 2:25.63 set the 2016 Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships in The Bahamas  .

serg morning swim
Marten en route to a time of 2:26.50 Photo courtesy of CCCAN

In the morning heats a national record seemed possible as he qualified for the Championship final with a time of 2:26.50 , less than a second off the national standard. In the final it self that mark was destroyed as he placed fifth in a time of 2:23.69.

COMPARISON OF RECORD TIMES

2016 Bahamas 2018 Aruba
First 50 31.54 32.61
Second 50 36.31 35.20
Third 50 38.84 38.59
Fourth 50 38.94 37.29
Total Time 2:25.63 2:23.69

It is clear from the splits that he has developed more back end speed. When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Marten on July 7 he gave his thoughts about the swim and his expectations heading to  Barranquilla

Serg before the final
Serginni Marten concentrating before the final Photo courtesy of CCCAN

“It felt great in the moment, I felt long and strong and in the prelims I went a smooth 2:26 so I knew that in the final I was capable of going a PB but I did not except a 2:23, I never been under 2:25 so it was a great feeling and it was a very close race from 1-5th place. My goals now for CAC is to rest up and work on the effectiveness of my stroke in the last 20 metres of the 100 and the last 5 metres of the 50 metre breaststroke. I have a good front half but now it’s all about maintaining that and not to doubt or have hesitation in my stroke in the second half of the race whether it’s the 50 or the 100”.

Team Curaçao  will also  be represented by Seggio Bernardina,Mauricio Payne, Rainer Rafaela and Chadé Nercisio.

Curacao CAC swim team
Team Curaçao departing for Colombia Photo courtesy of Curaçao National Swimming Team