The second day of the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships in Hangzhou China saw Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter as the top swimmer from the region in the 200 metre freestyle.
Carter topped the best from the region with a time of 1:43.74 (split time 49.43) to finish 12th overall. In 2016 Windsor he was the top swimmer as well as he had made the Championship final.
Second from the region was El Salvador’s Marcelo Acosta shattered his national record from the 2014 Championships of 1:49.93 in Qatar with a swim of 1:47.00 to placed 29th overall.In Qatar he had placed 51st overall.
Another swimmer in record smashing form was Alex Sobers from Barbados. He lowered the 2001 national mark of 1:48 .98 with a time of 1:47.55 (split time 52.60) to place 32nd overall.Damian Alleyne. Damian was one of the most dominant swimmers from the region in the late 1990’s to early 2000’s. In 2016 at the Windsor Championships Sobers had placed 57th with a time of 1:49.69 (split time 53.27).
Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico was just off his national record of 1:50.58. He placed 44th overall in a time of 1:50.73 (split time 53.81).
Noah Mascoll-Gomes set a new national record when he placed 45th overall. He stopped the clock in a time of 1:51.60 (split time 54.58).
Regional standard bearers Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson and Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter continued to fine tune their preparations for the upcoming World Short course Swim Championships in Hangzhou China with top performances on the final day of the World Cup stop in Tokyo Japan.
Atkinson maintained her scintillating form with another world breaking performance in the 50 metre breaststroke.After the morning preliminaries Yulia Efimova from Russia would be the top seed with an effort of 30.23 followed by Atkinson in 30.30. It would not be a time that would be of concern to Atkinson as she had been sub 30 seconds for her split in the 100 metre event. In the Championship final of the 100 Efimova had matched Alia’s reaction time at the start .This time Commander would not yield any quarter . Her reaction to the gun was 0.64 to the Russian’s 0.68. With an advantage already from the gun and her underwater work impeccable alleyes would now be on the time Atkinson would produce as that was the same reaction time she produced to set the world record in Hungary and this pool was the site of her World record performance in 2016. With the field well beaten she stopped the clock in 28.95 , just off her world record but continuing to dominate the all time rankings in the event. Efimova placed second with a time of 29.56 and Australian Emily Seebohm taking the Bronze in 29.99.
Also put on notice was the national record in the 100 metre butterfly as Atkinson put up a time of 57.79 (split time 27.17) to make the Championship final in the event. In the final she produced a time of 58.90 to place eighth overall.
Dylan Carter continues to make this debut tour stop a very successful one for himself , the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the entire region by qualifying for two Championship finals.
In the heats of the 50 metre butterfly he rattled his national record of 22.53 when he led the qualifiers to the final with a time of 22.66. That was the second fastest time Carter has ever recorded in the event. He would replicate that time in the final and finish 4th overall. The Gold went to man of the moment Russian Vladimir Morozov in 22.29, Silver to American sprint sensation Michael Andrew in 22.39 and the Bronze to 2016 World Championship finalist Takeshi Kawamoto in 22.60. At the 2016 world Championships Carter had placed seventh in 22.68. This performance puts Dylan on steady bearing for an even faster performance in China next month.
His second Championship final would be in the 200 metre freestyle. In qualification he would put in the third fastest performance in his life of 1:44.44 (split time 50.92). In the final he posted a time of 1:48.42.This is another event that could see his national record and unofficial CCCAN region best of 1:42.48 that being on borrowed time.
Cuba’s Elisbet Matos turned in another good performance in the 100 metre freestyle. She placed 24th overall .She registered a time of 55.26( split time 26.90).
The second day of the Tokyo leg of the FINA World Cup was another successful day for the Caribbean at the Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center with Commander Alia Atkinson leading the way with yet another breaststroke Gold, Dylan Carter shattering his national backstroke record and recording the best ever time form the CCCAN region and Elisbet Matos swimming under 2 mins in the 200 metre freestyle.
Alia Atkinson , world record holder in the 100 metre breaststroke was back at her irrepressible best in the championship final of the event.The race was always going to be a battle between Atkinson and her Russian rival Yulia Efimova. With the sounding of the starter’s gun it was an identical reaction time between Alia and Yulia with both registering a response of 0.67. That would be where the similarities would end. Atkinson known for her excellent underwater work displayed that and took the early advantage. It would be a lead she would not lose as she took the first half of the race out in 29.67 shadowed by Efimova in 29.78. There would be no waning of strength on the second 50 metres as Alia outsplit the field again with a time of 33.42 to win a time of 1:03.09. This her second consecutive win in the event this season.
Video courtesy of FINA
Yulia won the Silver in a time of 1:03.42. The Bronze went to Siobahn O’Connor who clocked 1:05.07. Atkinson took out the race in her fastest split for the season and still had the speed endurance to take the win which augurs well for the defence of her title at the World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou China from Dec 11 to 18.
When Dylan Carter flew into Tokyo his nation’s national record for the 50 metre backstroke stood at 25.14 held by Jeron Thompson.That time would be committed to the pages of history as he lowered the Republic’s national record as well as the unofficial CCCAN record to become the first from the region under 24 seconds in the event with a clocking of 23.73.
He bettered the CCCAN best of 24.32 set by another icon from the region Rodolfo Falcon of Cuba.Falcon had set that time on Mar 17,2000 when he won the Bronze medal in the event at the World Championships in Athens Greece. Carter’s newly minted standard from the heats would get the same record breaking treatment in the Championship final as he placed fourth in a time of 23.43.
The Gold went to Jiayu Xu of China in 22.87. The silver to American Michael Andrew in 23.17 and Japanese Takeshi Kawamoto in 23.36. Carter’s time would have made the World Championship final in event in every edition from 2000.
There would be another Championship final for Carter as he qualified for the final of the 100 metre freestyle with a time of with a time of 48.06 (split time 23.08). In that final he would place 5th in a time of 47.75( split time 22,79) .Carter had the fastest reaction time of the field of 0.59 of a second.
The race was won by Russian Vladimir Morozov in 45.16,in yet another World Cup record, Silver to Australian Kyle Chalmers in 45.78 and the Bronze to American Blake Pieroni in 46.79.
Cuba’s Elisbet Matos remains on pace for good performances at the upcoming World Championships with her performance in the 200 metre freestyle.She recorded a time of 1:58.80. At the last edition of the Championship in 2016 she had placed 30th in a time of 2:01.08.
The nations of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba were well represented on the first day of the Tokyo leg of the 2018 FINA World Cup tour. They were represented by Alia Atkinson, Dylan Carter and Elisbet Matos respectively.
Atkinson again set a season best time in the 100 metre individual medley. She recorded her best time outside of a World Short Course Championships when she recorded 58.96 in the heats of the event. In the final she would return to place 6th in the Championship final. Gold went to World record holder Hungarian Katinka Hosszu in
Comparison of best in season times
First 50 metres
Second 50 metres
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago saw their return to the World Cup tour since the legendary George Bovell III swam his last race in November 2014 at the Singapore stop when Dylan Carter lined up behind the blocks in the 50 metre freestyle and 100 metre individual medley. It would not be an easy path to the Championship final of the freestyle. After the morning heats Carter was in a dead heat with New Zealand’s Daniel Hunter as they recorded identical times of 21.93 for 8th place. Dylan would win the swim off 21.85 to 21.95. In the final he would place 6th in a time of 21.68 .
The race was won by a fellow University of Southern California alum Vladimir Morozov in a World Cup record time of 20.49. Second went American sprint sensation Michael Andrew in 21.05 and the Bronze to Australian Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers in 21.09.
Dylan would just be off the pace in the medley as he touched in a time of 54.02 ( split time 24.34) for 13th overall. The race went to Morozov in a new World Record of 51.26 , more than a second ahead of the field.
Cuba’s Matos would record time of 4:08.86( split time 2:03.03) to qualify for the Championship final in the 400 metre freestyle . She was not that fast in the final and placed eighth in a time of 4:15.47. The race was won by Dutch swimmer Femke Heemskerk in a time of 4:01.29.
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.
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
200 metre butterfly
1500 metre freestyle
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
Oh what a night for the CARIFTA region swimmers at 23rd (CAC) Central American and Caribbean Games at the Eduardo Movilla Aquatic Complex in Colombia, on Sunday night as four medals were won in three events. Alia Atkinson continued her invincible run in the 50 metre breaststroke, Team TTO’s Dylan Carter and Joshua Romany win a historic Gold and Bronze in the 50 metre butterfly and Bahamian Joanna Evans expands freestyle repertoire with 100 metre freestyle Silver
ALIA ATKINSON CAC 50 METRE BREASTSTROKE INVINCIBLE
If Alia Atkinson had not already confirmed her place in the pantheon of CAC swimming legends the 50 metre breaststroke would certainly have cemented her place. No one expected any less than Gold from the Olympian and she ensured from the heats there would be no threats to her sprint breaststroke throne when she blazed to 31.14 .she was easily the class of the field and clearly there was more in the tank. From the starter’s gun and a fantastic start it was clear there would be no stopping Atkinson as she crushed the field by more than a second to win 30.19. That was a mere .08 of a second off her Silver medal winning national mark of 30.11 set the 2015 Kazan World Championships. It is also the FOURTH fastest time in the world this year.At the CAC Games Atkinson has had no equal never being second best in either the heats or finals in the editions she has attended and she only missed the 2014 Veracruz Games. Each time she has lined up behind the block it has resulted in a Games Record. Her record swim confirmed her obvious inclusion at the 2018 Hangzhou World Short Course Swimming Championships and 2019 Gwangju World Championships (LCM).
Silver went to Mexico Byanca Melissa Rodriguez Villanuev in 31.20 and the Bronze to Venezuela’s Mercedes Toledo in 31.99.The duo were the 2014 Gold and Silver medallists in Alia’s absence. There was a heavy CARIFTA region presence as Bahamian Lilly Higgs placed fourth in 32.59, Aruban Anahi Schrueders placed sixth in 33.33 and Laura Morley of The Bahamas seventh in 33.50.
FLY GUYS CARTER AND ROMANY MAKE HISTORY FOR TEAM TTO IN 50
Before this competition Team TTO had never won a medal in the 50 metre butterfly .Also the CARIFTA region had won a single medal through the efforts of Bahamian Vereance Burrows in 2010 with his Bronze medal blast of 24.30. History was going to be created in the night however. Joshua Romany fired the opening salvo with a personal best of 23.73 rattling the 2010 record of 23.70 by Venezuela’s Octavio Alesi. Carter would ensure that the record said read Property of Trinidad and Tobago with his 23.50.
In the evening’s final there would be the double the joy for Team TTO as Carter took the Gold in yet another Games record of 23.11, which is also a new personal best and national . Teammate Romany in just his second senior level assignment won the Bronze in a time of 24.05. The pair was split by Guatemala Luis Carlos Martinez Mendez with his 23.26. Carter now ranks fourth in the World with his new record and qualifies automatically for the 2018 Hangzhou World Short Course Swimming Championships and 2019 Gwangju World Championships (LCM) . Romany continues to get faster and has been on major upward trajectory since 2017 is near the automatic standard of 23.66 for both Championships.
Video by Team TTO
JOANNA EVANS EXPANDS FROM DISTANCE FREESTYLE WITH SPRINT SILVER
When draftingthecaribbean saw the lineup for the 100 metre Championship final with Joanna Evans lining up to contest the medals we noted that if she was anywhere near the leaders after the first 50 metre it would be hard to deny her not just a medal but the Gold. Evans qualified with a personal best of 56.51, the sixth best time of the field.
When the race started the known sprinters surged to the lead and Joanna was close by at the turn with a split of 26.82 to be fourth. Then came the expected Joanna started to close and was passing by the leaders. It would not be enough and she ran out of water as Venezuela’s Isabella Arcila Hurtado just held on to take the Gold in 55.21. Evans crushed her personal best to win the Silver in 55.29.The Bronze went to Mexican Liliana Ibanez Lopez in 55.39. Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson finished just off the podium and her national record of 55.35 with a time of 55.41. This the third consecutive medal for the Bahamas in the event following Silver and Gold efforts by Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace in 2010 and 2014.