TEAM TTO’S RISING STAR ZAREK WILSON RETURNS TO JAMAICA FOR 2018 DEAN MARTIN MEMORIAL MEET

 

 

Zarek Wilson in action at the October Classic Invitational Swimming classic
Zarek Wilson in action at the October Classic Invitational Swimming classic Photo courtesy of Harold Robert Wilson

Team (Trinidad and Tobago)  TTO’s Zarek Wilson who will be representing his club Blue Dolphins will return to Jamaica to compete at the 2018 edition of the Dean Martin Memorial Swim meet at the National Aquatic Centre in Kingston from October 26 to 28.

Elan and Zarek hrold wilson photos
11-12 high point winners girls and boys Elan Daley of Bermuda and Zarek Wilson Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The last time Wilson was here for the CARIFTA championships he led a dominant 11-12 youth brigade from the twin island republic. Zarek dominated the competition winning 12 Gold and One Silver from 13 events , a near flawless winning percentage. During that competition from March 31 to April 3 he lowered the 400 metre freestyle record to 4:27.78.

Wilson will enter the competition having earned 21 Gold 6 Silver and 4 Bronze medals in the calendar year 2018 across the three major regional age group competitions UANA, CARIFTA and CCCAN. He will also be in good form for the three day meet having lowered the 11-12 national records at home in 3 events at the October Classic Invitational in at the Marlins Swim Pool in Westmoorings in early October.

400 metre freestyle 4:21.16
200 metre butterfly 2:20.25
1500 metre freestyle 17:46.74
Kael off the blocks
Kael Yorke diving off the blocks in the heats of the 50 metre butterfly Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

The previous records were  400 metre freestyle 4:23.66 by Joshua Romany in 2008  200 metre butterfly 2:21.68 and  1500 metre freestyle 17:50.31 by Kael Yorke in 2013.

The 1500 metre freestyle record was subsequently lowered  at the same meet by another 11-12 star Nikoli Blackman who took it to 17:36.90 at the same meet.

Zarek ,though untapered will have a much lighter work load swimming a mere “six” events.

Zachary-Moore caymansportsbuzz
Zachary Moore Photo courtesy of caymansportsbuzz

The first event he will tackle is the 1500 metre freestyle where the meet record and fastest time ever recorded in Jamaica by an 11-12 boy is 18:51.65 set by the Cayman Islands’ Zachary Moore while representing the Stingray Swim Club in 2015 . So the fans on Friday will have a chance to see the first sub 18 minutes swim on local swim by an 11-12 swimmer.

 

Three events later he will  have his final race for the day the 200 metre individual medley. That meet record of 2:31.18  was set by another rising star from the Cayman Islands and the Stingray Swim Club Corey Fredrick- Westborg. The fastest ever 11-12 time  posted in Jamaica is 2:24.55  held by another member of Team TTO ,Jabari Baptiste. That time was set at CARIFTA 2010 when he won Gold. This past summer he was a member of Team TTO’s  CAC Games 400 metre freestyle relay team that won the Bronze in a new national record of 3:22.83.

400 free relay TTO
Team TTO at the 2018 CAC Games

On Saturday his first event will be the 200 metre butterfly.The 11-12 200 metre butterfly record stands at 2:33.52 by the Tornadoes Nathaniel Thomas and the fastest ever 11-12 time in Jamaica is 2:22.71 set by Damon St Prix of Barbados when he won Gold at CARIFTA 2013. With the event being open the sporting public may see Zarek be pushed to under the 2:20 mark.

luis sebastian weekes im m lyn
Weekes competing in the heats of the 200 individual medley at the 2017 CARIFTA championships Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

The 400 individual medley, also an open event sees the 2015 Moore standard of 5:24.99 under threat. Zarek may also get the push needed to go under the Jamaica best mark of 5:09.20 set by  recent 2018 Youth Olympic Games competitor Luis Sebastian Weekes of Barbados. Weekes set that mark at CARIFTA 2013 when he topped the 11-12 field for the Gold.

 

The final day sees the 400 metre freestyle as the opening event. The meet record stands at 4:51.13 by the Tornadoes Sean- Douglas Gooden . It is no surprise that Zarek holds the fastest time ever swum in 11-12  as he set the CARIFTA Championship record of 4:27.78 earlier this year. As he prepares to go into the stronger 13-14 age group he will be using this meet to post a sub 4:20 time and set yet another national record. The fastest time ever swum across all age groups at the meet is 4:30.93 by John Bodden of the Stingrays Swim Club of the Cayman Islands in 2016.

Dylan Carter trinidad express
Dylan Carter at the 2013 CARIFTA swimming championships Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

His final race in Jamaica will be the 50 metre freestyle where he saw the a big improvement at his last meet from 27.03 to 25.67. The meet record of 26.16 is held by  Jamaica’s Nathaniel Thomas who dominated the region in 11-12 in the event when he both the CARIFTA and CCCAN titles.

Nathaniel Thomas Neville 2017 1
Nathaniel Thomas  2017 CARIFTA and CCCAN in the 11-12 boys 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Cheser Adams

The best 11-12 time recorded in Jamaica is 25.90 by French Guyana’s Dilan Nunez Green at CARIFTA this year when he lowered the long standing record of 26.00 Team TTO’s Olympian Dylan Carter. The  11-12 national record for Team TTO is 25.58 held by Carter. So Wilson could end his Jamaican adventure with a national mark.

The 2018 Dean Martin Memorial meet with the  inclusion of  Wilson and other CARIFTA,CCCAN and Goodwill Games champions promises to be yet another exciting meet with many closes races and records set to fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ANOTHER CARIFTA CHAMPION AND RECORD HOLDER RISES TO THE CHALLENGE AT CAC GAMES JACK KIRBY LOWERS BACKSTROKE AGE GROUP RECORD IN CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL

Another of the region’s top junior swimmers showed the class of swimmer the CARIFTA region is producing by making a major senior international final. It was the turn of Jack Kirby of Barbados who qualified for the 100 metre backstroke final.

Jack morning heats
Kirby preparing to swim in the morning heats

Coming to the championships Kirby was a known quantity regionally  in the junior ranks .This was evidenced by his season where he set the Championship record at the UANA Cup with a national record of 56.34 and a Championship record and the fastest time ever at CARIFTA of 56.59.

Jack and DaVante on podium
Jack Kirby and DaVante Carey push off the blocks in the Championship final of the 15-17 50 metre backstroke at CARIFTA 2018. Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn

He would break his 15-17 age group national record with a time of 56.22 to place second in heat 1 . His speed endurance was seen with the fastest second 50 metres of all the swimmers as he moved from fourth to second with a 28.64 clocking. The swim also moved him to the top of the list in terms of Barbadian 100 metre backstroke performances as he bettered the previous best time of CAC legend Nicky Neckles in his Silver medal winning performance at the 2010 Games.

Nicky neckles 2010
Nicky Neckles with Silver in the 100 metre backstroke at the 2010 Games Photo courtesy of swimbarbados.com

Neckles won a complete set of medals in the event Bronze in 2002, Gold in 2006 when he swept the 50, 100 and 200 events and Silver in 2010.

In the final he changed tactics and went out hard and was second at the turn in 26.77. He could not withstand the charge from the field and placed a creditable fifth in yet another national age record time 56.19.

NATIONAL AGE GROUP RECORD PROGRESSION

UANA 2018 CAC 2018 heats CAC 2018 Final
First 50 metres 27.40 27.58 26.77
Second 50 metres 28.94 28.64 29.42
Final Time 56.34 56.34 56.19

Draftingthecaribbean contacted Kirby and got his reaction about his swim

” I was hoping for 55 but my finals event wasn’t executed properly. The race was exciting though as everyone was close”. His record swims were all under the automatic A standard for the Youth Olympics of 56.96 ,and the 2019 PAN AM a standard of 56.49. It also brings him closer to the 2018  Hangzhou World Short Course Championships and 2019 Gwangju World Championships  (LCM)  B standard of 55.95 and the  2011 national senior record of 55.88 held by Olympian Bradley Ally.

 

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 ?

 

2018 REV National Swimming Championships LAMAR TAYLOR CLOSES IN ON BECOMING THE FASTEST 13-14 SWIMMER IN THE ENGLISH SPEAKING CARIFTA REGION OF ALL TIME, LOWERS THREE NATIONAL RECORDS IN SIX GOLD MEDAL PERFORMANCE

When Lamar Taylor had been disqualified in the Championship final in the boys 13-14 50 metre freestyle at the 2017 CCCAN Championships after qualifying with a time of 25.18  in  July  he told draftingthecaribbean would be using that moment as inspiration to be even faster . Less than than a year later he has been true to his word by breaking the national record in the 50 metre freestyle and closing in on being the fastest 13-14 swimmer from the English speaking CARIFTA region OF all time.

Lamar Taylor UANA
CARIFTA region’s top 13-14 boy at the UANA Cup Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas

Since last summer the Freeport Aquatics swimmer has blazed a trail to become the fastest regional swimmer this season in the 13-14 age category. At the inaugural  UANA Cup in Coral Springs Florida he was the top CARIFTA swimmer as he won Silver in a time of 24.57, the Gold went to Mexican Victor Salcedo Carrillo who out touched him with a 24.56.

At the CARIFTA Championships in Kingston Jamaica he took the Gold medal in a then personal best of 24.27 . He took the title convincingly as he was more than half a second ahead of the field . In that race he was just short of the national and CARIFTA record of  24.25 set by countryman Izaak Bastian.

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

At the 2018 Rev national he would make no mistake as he clocked a new PB, Championship record and age group national record of 24.06. In the final he was in scintillating form as he took the title in a time of 23.79. Lowered in the process was the Bastian’s 2016 meet record of 24.56.

Joshua Romany
Joshua Romany

The next milestone is getting past the 23.77 of Trinidad and Tobago’s Joshua Romany which stands as the fastest performance by a 13-14 swimmer from the English speaking CARIFTA region.

Crox Acuna rtve.es
Crox Acuña Photo courtesy of rtve.es

 

Already the top seed in the race for the upcoming CCCAN Championships in Aruba he is now faster the meet record of 24.10 held by Venezuela’s  Olympian Crox Acuña (Beijing 2008 and London 2012).

Event CCCAN 2017 UANA CARIFTA Nationals
50 metre freestyle DQ 25.18 heats 24.57 Silver * 24.27 Gold 24.06,23.79 Gold

The national age group record in the 100 metre freestyle would not be spared as it went down as well. In the heats of the event he had splits of 26.24 and 27.72 for a total time  of  53.96 to go under 54 seconds for the first time. The old national and Championship record of 54.25 had belonged to Kevon Lockhart. In the final he even split the race 27.60 and 27.51 to win in a time of 55.11.

_John Bradley Bahamasswimmingfederation
John Bradley Photo courtesy of bahamasswimmingfederation

The 200 metre freestyle saw another easy win for Taylor as he took Gold in 2:03.33 (split time 1:00.47) to be just outside the Championship record of 2:03.28 by John Bradley .

Swimming for  exhibition he broke the 50 metre butterfly meet record and age group record of 26.16 and 26.18 respectively by Bastian with a blast of 26.09. His club mate Rommel Ferguson would lower that in the final with time of 25.98.

The 100 metre butterfly final would be a battle between the clubmates. Ferguson struck the first blow when he went out to a lead of 28.52 to Taylor’s 29.97. But in great display of negative splitting Lamar had the only sub 30 seconds split of 29.75 to lead his teammate to the wall 59.75 to 59.95. That would be the first time under the 1 minute mark for both swimmers.

Event UANA CARIFTA Nationals
100 metre butterfly 1:01.87 7th 1:00.01 Gold 59.72 Gold
13-14 100 back podium
CARIFTA 13-14 100 metre backstroke medal podium from left to right Tristan Pragnell Barbaos Silver medallist, Taylor Gold and Youris Geran Guadeloupe Bronze medallist Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

The sprint back stroke events the 50 and 100 metres saw him winning Gold in 28.05 and 1:01.57 respectively.

Event UANA CARIFTA Nationals
50 metre backstroke 28.62 Gold 28.38 Gold 28.05 Gold

The 100 metre backstroke effort lowered the Championship record of 1:01.82 held by DaVante Carey.  A sub minute performance in the event could be on the cards for Lamar as his splits at CARIFTA and REV nationals suggest that he could  be much faster

reacting after a close win
Taylor reacts to coming from behind to win the 100 metre backstroke Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

CARIFTA 30.94 and 30.47 Gold 1:01.41

Rev Nationals  30.11 and 31.46 Gold 1:01.57.

Chris-Vythoulkas Bahamas Olympic Committee
Chris Vythoulkas Photo courtesy of Bahamas Olympic Commitee

The 1999 national record of 1:00.82 is held by Olympian Chris Vythoulkas (Athens 2004)  .

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Lamar he gave us his impression of nationals

“I feel really good about breaking the national records. I came to Nationals with the goals of setting the national marks in the 50 and the 100 freestyle and if I was lucky even more. It felt amazing to go 53 in the heats of the 100 metre freestyle. After my DQ in the 200 individual medley I felt I had to play it safe and that caused me to slow down a lot.So I just came up early (before the 15 metre mark and played it safe). In the 50 metre freestyle I knew that people were watching me on the 15 metre mark so in the heats I popped up early and went as fast as I could. In the final I stayed down a little longer and came up right before the 15 metre. I felt really good about the time and how I broke the record. In my mind during training for Nationals my goals were to better all my times and go under 24 and 54 for my 50 and 100 freestyle. I do have to say I was a little disappointed with my 50 freestyle time as I wanted to get the Youth Olympics Games A cut of 23.56″.

 

2018 REV National Swimming Championships Seventh Heaven for Nigel Forbes Young star wins Seven Gold medals , Breaks Four National records and sets New Five Championship Records

Nigel Forbes headshot
Nigel Forbes Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

The future of swimming in The Bahamas continues to look bright as seen in the performances of the competitors at the 2018 REV National Swimming Championships which ran June 16-19. One of the top swimmers at the Championships was Nigel Forbes of the Tritons . He won Seven Gold medals in the 11-12 age group while setting new national marks in four events and lowering the Championship record in five races.

Tynes 2016 Nationals
Dustin Tynes

In his first race he lowered the meet record in the 200 metre breaststroke with a swim of 2:39.42 . That bettered the old mark of 2:41.45 set by Olympian Dustin Tynes (Rio 2016).He is now within reach of the 2014  national record  of 2:38.61 set by local and regional star Izaak Bastian

Event CARIFTA Rev Nationals CCCAN record National Record
200 metre breaststroke 2:43.39 Gold 2:39.42 Gold 2:35.89 2:38.61
evante-gibson--
Evante Gibson Photo courtesy of the bahamasswimmingfederation

In the 100 metre butterfly he dismissed the competition by more than seven  seconds to land Gold in a new Personal best of 1:03.27. That broke the 2007 championship record of 1:03.79 set by Evante Gibson in 2007. It also brings him closer to the national record of 1:02.83 set by Samuel Gibson in 2014 . His newly minted PB would also move him from the second seed to the number one swimmer at the upcoming CCCAN Championships in Aruba . The CCCAN Championship record stands at 1:01.83.

Event CARIFTA Rev Nationals CCCAN record National Record
100 metre butterfly 1:04.09 Gold 1:03.27 1:01.83 1:02.83

 

His next event , the 400 metre IM he was equally as dismissive as he was more than 20 seconds ahead of the competition as he took Gold in a new Championship and national record time of 5:18.05.He owned the old national record of 5:20.46 which he set in April of this year and the meet record of 5:26.52 was set by Kevon Lockhart in 2015.

Nigel Forbes fly pic
11-12 50 metre butterfly medallists from left to right Marvin Johnson Freeport Aquatics Silver medallist, Forbes Gold medallist and Msanaa Bosland of Barracudas Bronze medallist

The 50 metre butterfly saw him putting on an excellent display of sprinting in both the heats and the finals. The morning preliminaries saw him lowering his personal best and the  Championship record of 28.28 held by DaVante Carey and Ian Pinder when they tied for Gold in 2015. The final saw him getting past the  another 2007 Gibson national record of 27.77  with a blistering 27.67. That reaffirmed his favourite’s tag and number one seeding for CCCAN. It also brings him within touching distance of being the fastest 11-12  English speaking CARIFTA region swimmer in the event. That accolade belongs to Trinidad and Tobago’s  Olympian Dylan Carter (Rio 2016) with his 27.34 blast from 2009.The CCCAN record is 27.30.

forbes on his way to 50 metre butterfly Bronze
Nigel Forbes of The Bahamas on his way to 50 metre butterfly Bronze at the UANA Cup Photo courtesy of Michael C Lyn
Event UANA CARIFTA Rev Nationals CCCAN record
50 metre butterfly 28.68 Bronze * 28.61 Silver 27.67 Gold 27.30

*Top CARIFTA region swimmer

The 200 metre butterfly was the only event he did not set a record in it.He took the title by over 10 seconds stopping the clock in 2:28.42.

Forbes 11-12 Gold
Nigel Forbes of The Bahamashistoric First Gold Medallist for The Bahamas and the CARIFTA region at the UANA Cup in the  11-12 50 metre breaststroke

Regular service however resumed in the 50 metre breaststroke as he lowered his personal best from 33.74 to 33.34 in the heats. Clearly he had a lot more in the tank  as  he was in scorching form in the final .He broke the meet and national record of 32.94 regional standout Izaak Bastian with a 32.54 clocking besting the field by over four seconds. He again is the number one seed for CCCAN where the meet record stands at 32.42.

Event UANA CARIFTA Rev Nationals CCCAN record
50 metre breaststroke 34.20 Gold 34.05 Gold 32.54 Gold 32.42
Forbes breaststroke CARIFTA Bahamas Aquatics
Nigel Forbes during the morning heats of the 100 metre breaststroke at CARIFTA 2018 Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

When draftingthecaribbean contacted him on June 18 he spoke his national record breaking swims in the 50 metre butterfly and 50 metre breaststroke

“It feels good .I know I have been training hard to get these records and now I have finally broken them”.

For his final record breaking act Forbes again lowered his personal best of 1:14.90 to 1:14.40 in the morning heats of the 100 metre breaststroke.The final saw him blasting away the Championship record 1:13.67 (Bastian 2014) and national record 1:12.26 (Tynes 2009) with a time of 1:12.24 split time 33.58. As the clear favourite and top seed in the event he is in reach of the CCCAN record of 1:12.18

Bastian split
Izaak Bastian opening up a lead in the 200 metre breaststroke at CARIFTA 2018 Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn
Event UANA CARIFTA Rev Nationals CCCAN record
100 metre breaststroke 1:15.07 Gold 1:15.81 Gold 1:12.24 1:12.18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young “Veteran” Chadé Nersicio commits to Florida State University

Curaçao’s Chadé Nersicio has committed to swim for the Florida State Seminoles .She will begin her collegiate career in the 2019-2020 season.

Nercisio is a veteran for her country  having competed at the three long course World Championships (Barcelona 2013,Kazan 2015 and Budapest 2017)  and two World Short Course Championships ( Doha 2014 and Windsor 2016).At each global competition she has improved upon her placing.

Chade Nercisio
Chade Nercisio photo courtesy of Curaçaosport.com

At the regional age group level at CCCAN she has won Five Gold,Three Silver and One Bronze and has set more than Three Championship records. At CARIFTA 2018 in Kingston she added to her medal tally which currently Twelve Gold,Three Silver and Five Bronze.Along the way to that medal haul she has reset the meet record over Five times.

chade-pre-race-1-a-m-lyn
Chadé Nercisio before her race Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

Competing for her high school in Florida, Trinity Christian she has been one of the most consistent sprinters in the state. She has won a medal in the 50 yard freestyle each year since the 2015 -2016 season in the Class 1A to be among the best sprinters in the Sunshine state.

When draftingthecaribbean contacted the future Seminole she spoke about her college selection, what she is looking forward to in college swimming and a possible area of study

chade FSU
Chadé Nersicio Photo courtesy of East Coast Aquatic Club

“Well I’ve been contemplating college selection since I got here ( Florida in 2015), but I think I started paying more attention around the beginning of this year. I came here to pursue my dream which also includes going to a college with a good swim program but also academics. As I mentioned before they have a good swim program and also academics. I also trust the coaches, they’re much like my coach right now (John Kjaerulff Head Coach of East Coast Aquatics) which is I think is a good thing, because we have a good and healthy relationship. I’m looking forward to focusing more on what I’m good at and further growing as a swimmer at FSU. I think I want to study International Business.

Chadé also elaborated on CARIFTA 2018 in terms of her expectations heading into the Championships and how the meet was overall and what lessons were learnt.

Chadé with 50 metre butterfly Gold at CARIFTA having set the Championship record in both the heats and the final
Chadé with the 15-17 50 metre butterfly Gold at CARIFTA having set the Championship record in both the heats and the final Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

“Well, I was not expecting much because I had just had a prelim-final meet the week before (Southern Zone Sectional Championships in Plantation, Florida), where I had all personal bests except for 2 events out of the 9. I was there to enjoy my sport and support my friends last CARIFTA Games.I absolutely love Jamaica, but my swims were a little rough, I would say I did ok.My best swim was probably the 50 freestyle because I dropped time. I think I went 26.18 which is closer to the Olympic B cut (25.51) so I was proud of that swim. Well, I guess to control my nerves and to try my best even if I don’t want to swim that event.

She also spoke about her plans for the rest of the season and her Olympic ambitions and what she work she needs to put in to make Tokyo 2020 a reality

chade-50-free-m-lyn
Chadé Nercisio starts her race Photo courtesy of Michael Lyn

“My first meet coming up for this long course season is Michael Lohberg in Coral Springs I think June 15-17, which is a non-taper meet for me, then I have Sectionals in Gainesville at The University of Florida pool, then I have CAC Games in Colombia.I think the delegation flies out July 17, and my last meet for the season will either be Future Championships or Junior Nationals, we haven’t decided that yet. I think about the Olympics every day, but to get there I need to take it one day at a time, and that’s what I’m doing. I’m trying to work harder, eat but also sleep better now that its summer I don’t have school it gets a bit easier. The events I am targeting  are the 50 and 100 freestyle and quite possibly the 100 fly if I can find the motivation I had back in Trinidad & Tobago when I went 1:02.Training hard every day, every set, I find it hard to train hard when there are sets I don’t like (usually long-distance sets) but my coach motivates me every day, he says “Good for me, good for you” or he counts down the days to Tokyo 2020 when I am not trying during these sets.

 

Nercisio will join CARIFTA region stars Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas and Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands at Florida State who start their college careers in September this year. Florida State University has been home to regional talent over the years to include Arubans Daniella van den Berg, Jemal Le Grand, Suriname’s Rafael Van Leeuwaarde,Trinidad and Tobago’s Cadell Lyons to name just a few.

 

 

 

FIRST ATTEMPT AT 800 METRE FREESTYLE RESULTS IN NATIONAL AGE GROUP RECORD FOR TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO’S NIKOLI BLACKMAN

One of the young stars emerging from CARIFTA 2018 in the 11-12 age group was Trinidad and Tobago’s Nikoli Blackman who continued his excellent form at the National Long Course Open championships held last month at the National Aquatic Centre in Balmain Couva. He had a national age group record breaking swim in the 800 metre freestyle. What made the feat even more remarkable was that it was the young swimmer’s first attempt swimming the grueling event.
Competing in the open mixed 800 metre freestyle on May 10 Blackman  won Silver in 9:23.30 lowering the old age group mark of 9:29.06 by Kael Yorke. That record was set back in 2013. The Gold was won by local distance star Graham Chatoor in 8:53.06 who is his final year of the 15-17 age group. The Bronze was won by Delroy Tyrell who is in his first year of the 15-17 age group in a time of 9:53.78. Third person overall in the race however was Graham’s sister Jada who stopped the clock in 9:26.70

Nikoli Blackman CARIFTA 2018
Blackman concentrating before his race at CARIFTA 2018 in Kingston Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Blackman ,while competing in Kingston at CARIFTA swam 3900 metres on his way to winning 12 medals, Three Gold, Eight Silver and One Bronze in 16 events. The versatile athlete has been named to the 2018 CCCAN team in both the pool and open water events.

Nikoli Blackman moments after setting a new 11-12 800 free national record
Blackman moments after setting a new 11-12 800 free national record Photo courtesy of Dinnora Anthony

When draftingthecaribbean contacted Nikoli he gave his opinion about his performance

“When CARIFTA ended I had to reduce my training from 9 sessions per week to 5 as I had to prepare for the Secondary Entrance Assessment Exams (SEA). Though my fitness was down a bit my strategy for the race was to work my kick and try and stay ahead of my teammate, Jada Chatoor, who was in the lane next to me.  I was aware of the record as My Dad and I have discussed it for a while now. When the race was over I was happy to see that I had lowered the record from 9:29.06 to 9:23.30”.