2019 WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS 100 metre backstroke men Lion hearted Dylan Carter of TTO becomes the fastest ever CCCAN swimmer at Worlds

The heats of the 100 metre backstroke event  at the 2019 World Swimming championships was hit by issues with swimmers either slipping or not getting the push required from the backstroke wedges. One such affected swimmer was Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago. In the initial morning swim Carter had recorded a time of 55.35 for 30th overall. Also suffering a similar fate was Italian swimmer Simone Sabbioni who heard the starter’s gun three times, slipping twice before he was able to put a time that enable him to make the semi finals.

Carter dissatisfied with the wedge and wanting to give his best for himself, and his country and by extension the region requested a second swim.This was accepted and he did not disappoint. He split 26.56 en route to a total time of 54.03. His happiness was seen after the swim as he slapped the water in approval. The time not only got him in into the semifinals in 16th spot but also a new national record .In the semi finals he maintained his overall position and  recorded the second fastest time of his career 54.08

Carter’s Top Three Performances

Meet1st 502nd 50 Total time
WC heats26.5627.4754.03
WC semis26.2527.8354.08
Can trials26.4127.6854.09
Dylan Carter Photo courtesy of usportt.com

The University of South California Grad has attained the highest placing for a swimmer in his country at the World Champs. He bettered the previous best placing and time by a swimmer from Trinidad and Tobago as in 2015in Kazan where he placed 33rd in 55.24. He also vaults to the top of the all time CCCAN rankings as he went under the under the 55.21 recorded by legendary Cuban backstroker Neisser Bent . He stroked his way to 55.21 and fourth place ahead of another icon of the region Rodolfo Falcon 55.32 in the Championship final of the race at the 1998 Perth Championships .

Rodolfo Falcon Photo courtesy of columnadeportiva.files.wordpress.com

CCCAN All Time Top Performers

Dylan Carter54.032019TTO
Neisser Bent55.211998CUB
Rodolfo Falcon55.321998CUB
Ricardo Busquets55.781998PUR
Rex Tullius55.882015ISV
Bradley Ally55.882011BAR
Pedro Medel56.122013CUB
Nicky Neckles56.202007BAR
Jack Kirby56.252019BAR
Jack Kirby being honoured as the 2018 Junior Sportman of the year Photo courtesy of the Barbados Olympic Association

Making his World Championships debut Jack Kirby cracked the all time top ten list. The incoming USC freshman split 27.64 on way to 56.25 and 42nd place overall.

Third overall from CCCAN was Cuban Armando Barrera 47th overall in a time of 57.00 (split time 27.25).Barrera got the chance to show his best effort in the race on a global stage after an unfortunate disqualification in 2015

Eisner Espinoza Barberena of Nicaragua was 57th overall in time 1:00.56 (split time 29.29).This marks his fourth consecutive time competing at the World Champs.


2019 World Swimming Championships 200 metre freestyle men Aruban Mikel Schreuders is CCCAN leader in Korea

Mikel Schreuders Photo courtesy of mutigers.com

Since he made his debut at the 2016 Rio Olympics Aruban Mikel Schreuders has made it an excellent habit of creating history for himself and his country in international competitions. This competition was no different as he bettered his 2017 time and placing to be the fastest and placed Aruban ever in this event . One can see the improvement from Budapest as he timed at 1:49.66 (split time 53.66) for 39th  and in 2019 he covered the course in 1:48.92 (split time 53.10)  for 32nd . Added to the accolade of being the fastest ever from Aruba at the meet he topped the region in an Olympic qualifying time , just off his historic 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games Bronze medal winning national record of 1:48.63. He is also among the fastest ever swimmers to compete at the World Championships from the region.

Shaune Fraser Photo courtesy of shaunefraser.com
2009Shaune Fraser1:46.1310thCAY
2017Dylan Carter1:47.7724thTTO
2009Brett Fraser1:48.1824thCAY
2009Lennox Silva1:48.8135thPUR
2019Mikel Schreuders1:48.9232ndARU
2017Michael Gunning1:50.0043rdJAM
Michael Gunning

Michael Gunning of Jamaica continues to be the leader for his nation in this race . He is the only Jamaican to go under 1:52..He produced yet another such performance in South Korea with a time of 1:51.14 (split time 53.47).

Alex Sobers

Alex Sobers produced the best ever showing by a swimmer from his country by bettering his standards from 2017. In Gwangju the 2019 18 and over CCCAN champion produced an effort of 1:51.89 (split 53.83) to finish 46th. This is an improvement of ten places when he clocked 1:52.50.

Noah Mascoll-Gomes Photo courtesy of espn.uol.com.br/

Noah Mascoll-Gomes of Antigua and Barbuda also produced  best ever performance for his country. The 2019 CCCAN 18 and over Bronze medallist set the standard in 2017 in Budapest when he clocked 1:55.32 for 62nd . On the Asian continent he was 56th in a time of 1:54.20 (split time 55.23).

Jordan Crooks

Reigning CARIFTA Champion in the 15-17 age group Jordan Crooks of the Cayman Islands lowered his Gold medal winning time and personal best of 1:57.45 to 1:56.33 (split time 55.57). He placed 59th in his World Championships debut.

2019 World Swimming Championships 200 metre freestyle women Cuba’s Elisbet Gamez Matos is the top ranked CCCAN swimmer

Elisbet Gamez Matos Photo courtesy of FINA

The 200 metre freestyle saw Cuban Elisbet Gamez Matos earning the right to be seen as the best from the CCCAN region at the global championships. She split 59.26 en route to a total time just over 2 minutes as she touched in 2:00.33.She placed 20th overall. This is an upward movement for the region since the 2017 Budapest Championships when Helen Moreno of Costa Rica was the top regional athlete in 32nd spot. This is also the best world Champs performance for Elisbet.The 2018 CAC Central American and Caribbean Silver medallist  had finished in 36th in Barcelona in 2013 with a time of 2:05.54.

Joanna Evans 800 metre freestyle Champion Olympic qualifier Fastest woman ever from the English speaking CARIFTA region

Finishing second on the regional rankings was Joanna Evans of The Bahamas. The fastest woman ever from the English speaking Caribbean and reigning CAC Games Champion  posted the fastest time ever by an English speaking woman at these Championships with a swim of 2:02.76 (split time 58.05) for 31st . That bettered the old record of 2:07.75 set by Lani Cabrera of Barbados at the 2015 Kazan edition of the Championships. She also equaled the best performance by a swimmer from the English speaking Caribbean.Shelly Cramer has also placed 31st at the 1982 Guayaquil Championships .Cramer had swum 2:12.66.

Gabriela Santis of Guatemala just missed PB of 2:05.08 when she stopped the clock in a time of 2:05.36 (split time 1:02.14) for 36th overall.This is an improvement from 2017 when she had recorded 2:06.94 for 37th .

Elan Daley gives a thumbs up after setting the 11-12 CARIFTA record

Reigning CARIFTA Champion and record holder in the 13-14 age Elan Daley of Bermuda was next on  the CCCAN regional list .Already the her nation’s senior national record holder with swim at CARIFTA in Barbados of 2:06.13 she went even faster in South Korea. Swimming in heat 3 the 2019 CCCAN champion was fearless in taking the race to her older competitors and almost won but was touched out by Santis .Elan stopped the clock in a 13-14 and national record of 2:05.47 (split time 1:00.87) for 38th .Only legendary Jamaican Olympian Janelle Atkinson has swum faster from the English speaking Caribbean with her national 13-14 standard of 2:05.07 from 1997.

Costa Rican Amanda Alfaro had a near miss with her personal best of 2:06.29.She hit the pads in 2:06.60 for 39th.

Sara Pastrana of Honduras was 40th in 2:06.76.

Danielle Treasure of Barbados was 46th in a time of 2:11.51.

The US Virgin Islands Natalia Kuipers was 52nd in a time of 2:15.45

Maya de Freitas of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lowered her own PB and national record of 2:19.10 when recorded a time of 2:15.48.That placed her 54th overall.

Olivia Fuller of Antigua and Barbuda was 57th in a time of 2:19.71.

The best performances by the region are dominated by the Poll sisters Sylvia and Claudia of Costa Rica. Sylvia still holds the 13-14 CCCAN record with a super fast 2:00.49 from 1985.Claudia holds the 15-17 record at 2:02.12 set in 1989.

Claudia Poll Photo courtesy of panamericanworld
1998Claudia Poll1:58.90GoldCosta Rica
1994Claudia Poll1:57.61BronzeCosta Rica
2001Claudia Poll1:58.924thCosta Rica
1986Sylvia Poll2:02.176thCosta Rica
2009Coralie Balmy1:56.7910thFra/Martinique

2019 World Championships 100 metre backstroke Krystal Lara of Dom Rep is #1 for CCCAN in Korea ,Titus of Barbados lowers national record

Krystal Lara Photo courtesy of NSU Sports

On the second day of competition at the World Swimming Championships Krystal Lara of the Dominican Republic produced the best time for the region in the 100 metres backstroke. Lara who set the fastest time ever by a woman at CCCAN when she stopped the clock in 1:03.77 went fastest in South Korea when she was timed in 1:02.71(split time 30.17) to place 36th overall.The first swimmer to win a medal for her country to win a medal at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games she won the Bronze in the event in Colombia. She also returns the region to a top 40 position at the Global Champs.

National record holder from El Salvador Celina Marquez was tantalizingly close to her newly minted standard of 1:02.92 when she touched in 1:02.94 for 38th overall.

15-17 CARIFTA Champion and record holder in the 100 metre backstroke Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Reigning CARIFTA and CCCAN Champion in the 15-17 age Danielle Titus of Barbados lowered her age group and senior national record of 1:04.60 when she swam 1:03.66 for 43rd overall.

Meet1st 502nd 50Final time

Another record holder Puerto Rico’s Celismar Guzman hit the pads in a time of 1:04.11 for 46th

2019 CARIFTA Bronze medallist in the 13-14 age group Grenada’s Kimberly Ince recorded better her medal winning time of 1:10.09 to record a personal best of 1:09.85.

2019 World Championships 400 metre freestyle women Joanna Evans of The Bahamas leads CCCAN region

Joanna Evans Fastest woman ever from the English speaking CARIFTA region

Joanna Evans of The Bahamas made her debut in the 400 metre freestyle on the opening day of the World championships. In her maiden performance where she placed 16th overall she became the fastest ever English speaking woman at the global champs. With a midway split of 2:02.37 she finished with a season best of 4:11.06. The previous English speaking Caribbean best was held by Lani Cabrera of Barbados who swam 4:28.31 for 41st at the 2015 Kazan World Champs.  In addition to Evans is also the highest placing English speaking woman ever in the event with her top 20 finish. Joanna also had the highest placing among CCCAN swimmers in the event.

Elisbet Matos Photo courtesy of desdeesteladodelaisla

Second for the region was Elisbet Gamez Matos of Cuba who recorded her country ‘s best ever finish and time at these World Championships with a 4:18.19 clocking for 29th overall. The previous best t placing was held by Daniela Benavides when she was 33rdth  with a time of 4:21.36.

Honduran national record holder Sara Pastrana was 34th in a time of 4:27.65.Costa Rican Amanda Alfaro was next in the ranking with a time of 4:29.91 just off her personal and season best time of 4:28.80.

Guatemala’s Daila Ismatul touched in 4:34.75 for 37th overall.

Danielle Treasure of Barbados was 40th in 4:37.22.

The first female swimmer from the Cayman Islands to contest this event and reigning CARIFTA 13-14 Champion Raya Embury-Brown was 41st in 4:38.17.

Natalia Kuipers of the US Virgin Islands was 42nd with a time of 4:41.69.


Kenzo Simons with his 50 metre freestyle Silver medal at the 2019 European Junior Championships today announced his arrival on the world stage with a major medal as well as a new Netherlands age group record in the event. Simons clocked a swift 22.10 to win Silver .

Kenzo Simons and father

In a race that show how fast the world of swimming has become saw German Artem Selim winning in 21.83 and the Bronze going to Vladyslav Bukhov of the Ukraine in 22.37. Simons had the advantage for most of the race before Selim pulled away for victory in a new European Junior record.

50 metre freestyle Championship race

Kenzo’s time would have won the Silver medal at the World Juniors at 2017 edition and Gold in 2015,2013 and 2011. No other swimmer from the region has ever gone faster than 22.50 in that age group.

In the history of CARIFTA region swimmers the top three rankings now includes Renzo Tjon A Joe of Suriname who blasted to 22.75 at the 2013 World Junior Championships en route to a Championship final. Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter would speed to 22.49 of the Youth Olympics the following year before winning Bronze in the Championship final with a time of 22.53

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


Name50 free
Kenzo Simons22.10 (2019)
Dylan Carter22.49 (2014)
Renzo Tjon A Joe22.75 (2013)

This shows the vast improvement Simons has made since regional fans would have seen him last at the now defunct Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships in 2016 when he won the Gold in the 13-14 age group in a time of 24.08 in a Championship record.Another top junior swimmer coming into his own now Jan Collazo of Puerto Rico won the Silver in 24.80 and Curacao’s Christopher Marlin the Bronze in 25.04.

Earlier at the 2016 CARIFTA championships earlier in Martinique Simons had set the 13-14 record of 24.49 before it was lowered by Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas in the Championship final.

CARIFTA 2016 Simons Silver 24.49,Bastian Gold 24.25, Berol Bronze 24.69.Photo courtesy of Carifta 2016 MARTINIQUE C

Simon’s Recent Regional Results

2016CISC50 free24.0814Gold
2016CISC50 back28.1614Silver
2016CARIFTA50 free24.4914Silver
2016CISC50 back28.7314Bronze
2014CARIFTA50 back32.4112Bronze
2014CARIFTA50 free27.58124th
2014CISC50 free28.19127th
2014CISC50 back31.4912Silver

Simons time has bypassed the ranks of junior swimmers to make him the second fastest of all time from the CARIFTA region

Goerge Bovell III Photo courtesy of sportsmax.tv
TTO21.202009George Bovell II
Neth/SUR22.102019Kenzo Simons
SUR22.182018Renzo Tjon A Joe
TTO22.392018Dylan Carter
BAH22.392009Elvis Burrow
CAY22.412011Brett Fraser
BER22.472012Roy Allan Burch
BAH22.751996Allan Murray
JAM22.772016 Justin Plaschka
TTO22.792017Joshua Romany
JAM22.832008Jevon Atkinson
FRA/Fren GUY22.862015Mehdy Metella

This fantastic effort makes Simons the second fastest 18 and under swimmer in the world behind Selim and the 15th fastest in the World .

He would also create more history by extending the distance between himself and the rest of the region’s age group swimmers in the 50 metre backstroke. Before 2018 the fastest time in the event was 25.99 by Carter. Simons had bettered that last year with a swim of 25.65 in the semi finals of this competition. This year he moved up from seventh to fourth with a new PB of 25.63

Start of the 2018 15-17 50 metre backstroke final from left to right Carey Silver medallist and Jack Kirby of Barbados Gold medallist Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn
Neth/SUR25.632019Kenzo Simons
TTO25.992013Dylan Carter
BAR26.072018Jack Kirby

In the 50 metre butterfly only Dylan Carter with his sub seconds blast of 23.81 to win the 2014 Youth Olympics Silver medal is faster than Kenzo from the region at the youth level.

Dylan Carter at the 2013 CARIFTA swimming championships Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn
TTO23.812014Dylan Carter
Neth/SUR24.282019Kenzo Simons
FRA/Fren Guy24.562010Mehdy Metella

In the 100 metre freestyle Simons is in the same company .He posted a huge PB of 49.71 in the heats of the mixed 400 metre freestyle relay .That was a massive time drop from his previous standard of 50.74. He would also be under the 50 seconds barrier in the Championship final with a swim of 49.92 as the Dutch team placed fifth in a time of 3:31.13.

Mehdy Metella Photo courtesy of Arena Water Instinct France and Stéphane Kempinaire
FRA/Fren Guy49.2523.552010Mehdy Metella
TTO49.5023.982014Dylan Carter
Neth/SUR49.7123.392019Kenzo Simons

Simons exploits should serve as motivation to the region’s youngsters about what can be achieved through hard work and dedication. Also that certain times are not above their abilities at the youth level


The fans at the Aquatic Centre in Wildey, St Michael Barbados were on hand to witness a lightning quick national record performance in the 15 and over 100 metre backstroke by Jack Kirby. The occasion was the 28th Aquatic Centre International Invitational Swim Meet.

Jack Kirby Photo courtesy of Pirates Swim Club Barbados

Before second day of the competition on May 25 the fastest a Barbadian swimmer had ever navigated the two back stroke race was 56.19 . That mark was set by Kirby in a fifth place finish in the Championship final at the 2018 CAC (Central American and Caribbean Games)in Barranquilla Colombia. But this is new year with new standards to be achieved and Jack certainly did that .

When the starter’s gun sounded two swimmers separated themselves from the field with their excellent underwater work Kirby of the Pirates Swim club and Nicky Neckles Olympian (1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney and Athens and CAC 100 metre backstroke medallist (Bronze 2002,Gold 2006,Silver 2010).

Barbados Backstroke Stars Jack Kirby and Olympian Nicky Neckles Photo courtesy of Pirates Swim Club

Jack gained the ascendancy and pushed his way to the lead with a split of 27.77. Kirby’s underwater work was almost as good if not better than the start . He used that to gain a sizeable lead and all eyes were now on the clock. He did not disappoint with a final 50 metres timed at 28.03 which helped to a total time of 55.80.

There was a change of tactics for this record swim as he went out more conservatively to bring it home faster. As evidenced by his splits in 2018 which were 26.77 and 29.42

The first swimmer under 56 seconds in the event in Barbados lowering the meet and open record of 56.76 set by Venezuela’s Luis Rojas in 2012. Second went to Neckles of Flying Fish Masters in 1:01.29 and Bronze to Nkosi Dunwoody of Alpha Swim club in 1:07.37.

Draftingthecaribbean spoke to Kirby about his achievements and he gave us the following thoughts.He first spoke about why the race was special

” The race was special because I was able to achieve my goal at home in front of my friends and family”.

He also spoke about the training behind his great underwater work

” For the underwaters, I practice them everyday in warm up. We always have these 8 50s and as I go through them, I do 4 kicks off the turn for 3 50s, 6 kicks off the turn for 3 50s, and 8 kicks off the turn for the last two. The goal is to work on going far with those kicks. So by time I get to the 8 kicks, I break out at 15 metre mark. In the race, I do 8 kicks off the turn, hoping to get to the 15 metre mark”.

He also told draftingthecaribbean about his mindset before the race

” I kept my thoughts pretty relaxed before the 100 back. I planned to go after it the same way I always do. Back half it because I’m pretty good with easy speed, so I had to trust my wall and back end speed”.

His new personal best and national record also moves him past Jamaican record holder Olympian Timothy Wynter, a recent USC (University of Southern California) graduate on the best all time English speaking CARIFTA region list. That list is headed by another USC graduate Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Dylan Carter.Jack now holds two of the three senior national backstroke records to include the 50 metre backstroke at 26.07. The last remaining record he does not own is the 200 . That mark was set by Neckles in 2006 in a time of 2:00.85.

CARIFTA backstrokers at USC from left to right Carter,Kirby and Wynter Photo courtesy of swimmingworld
NameFirst 50 Second 50100Year
Dylan Carter TTO26.4127.6854.092019
Rex Tullius USVI26.6128.4655.072016
George Bovell III TTO26.1829.0455.222012
Jack Kirby Bar27.7728.0355.802019
Bradley Ally Bar27.3828.5055.882011
Timothy Wynter Jam26.9329.2256.152016
Shaune Fraser Cay28.0628.9356.992011
Jack Kirby Bar26.7729.4256.192018