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.

 

 

 

Advertisements

MEDALS GALORE,ATKINSON CONTINUES ROLE AS CAC BREASTSTROKE INVINCIBLE,CARTER AND ROMANY TAKE HISTORIC FLY GOLD AND BRONZE,EVANS EXPANDS FREESTYLE KINGDOM WITH 100 SILVER

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).

 

2006 2010 2018
Heats 33.51 GR 32.38GR 31.14 GR
Final 32.64 GR 31.91GR 30.19 GR

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

50 metre butterfly medallists
CAC 50 metre butterfly medallists Photo courtesy of Federación Nacional de Natación Guatemala

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.

Team TTO
Team TTO celebrates Trinidad and Tobago’s Chef de mission Lovie Santana and Secretary General Ms. Annette Knott capture a moment with Romany and Carter Photo courtesy of Team TTO

 

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

Joanna Evans 100 metre freestyle
Joanna Evans Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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 ?

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO’S KAEL YORKE BREAKS 55 SECONDS IN THE 100 METRE BUTTERFLY , CLOSES IN ON NATIONAL AGE GROUP RECORD

Kael Yorke continues to impress in the butterfly events and achieved a new milestone for himself when he went under the  55 seconds 100 metre butterfly barrier on Friday May 11 at the 2018 National Open Long Course Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Balmain Couva.    .

15-17 100 fly podium men
15-17 100 metre butterfly podium from left to right  Nicholas Vale Silver Jamaica, Yorke Gold ,  Jesse Marsh Bronze  Jamaica Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

The meet which ran from May 10 to 13 saw the reigning CARIFTA champion in this event lowering the meet record of 55.64 held by a former CARIFTA standout Cadell Lyons.

cadell lyons nolefan.org
Cadell Lyons Photo courtesy of nolefan.org

In the morning heats he swam a personal best of 55.26 lowering the old meet record . In the final he produced his best effort to date of 54.84. That swim moved him again past the Youth Olympic A standard of 55.59 and also his country’s CAC qualifying mark of 55.02.He also closes in on the national age group record of 54.21 set by Dylan Carter in 2014 at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

THE ROAD TO SUB 55

 Meet Time
2016 CISC heats 58.59
2016 CISC 56.96
ASATT Dec 2016 56.89
 2017 March Nationals March 56.95
2017 CARIFTA heats 57.62
2017 CARIFTA 56.51
2017 Nationals heats 1:00.64
2017 Nationals 56.06
2017 CCCAN 55.78
2017 World Juniors 55.91
ASATT Dec 2017 56.05
2018 UNANA Cup 56.53
2018 February Nationals 56.82
2018 CARIFTA heats 56.43
2018 CARIFTA 55.57
2018 Nationals heats 55.26
2018 Nationals 54.85
Kael Yorke H wilson
Kael Yorke checks his times after his race at CARIFTA Championships in Kingston Jamaica. Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

At the 2018 CARIFTA Championships just missed out on a historic treble in the butterfly events when he won Gold in the 200 butterfly , Gold in the 100 butterfly and Silver in the 50. The Gold in the 100.The Gold in the 100 metre butterfly in  his final CARIFTA marked the Third Gold he won in the event and the fifth medal overall.

Kael Yorke Gold medallist
Kael Yorke with CARIFTA 100 metre butterfly  2017 

CARIFTA 100 METRE BUTTERFLY MEDAL TALLY

2018 Kingston 55.57 Gold 15-17
2017 The Bahamas 56.51 Gold 15-17
2015 Barbados 58.17 Gold 13-14
2014 Aruba 1:00.61 Bronze 13-14
2013 Jamaica 1:04.63 Silver 11-12

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Yorke on May 14 he gave his thoughts on the road to sub 55, the actual race and his training since CARIFTA

Kael off the blocks
Kael Yorke diving off the blocks in the heats of the 50 metre butterfly Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

“The race was good one.The 54.84 was my best time and it was the first time I went under the 55 seconds barrier. My previous best time which I did in the heats was 55.26.Those times were great for me because I was at 55 for a good while now.I had done 55.78 at CCCAN (at home) so it is really a good feeling to do 54 finally. I changed my tactics for the race. Normally I would hold back a little bit for the first 50 metres. But this time I held a smooth constant pace and did a faster time in the first 50 and just held my normal pace going into the last 50.I also focused on my underwaters going off the turn. I made sure to hold my breath coming off the turn . I would normally breathe coming off the wall and not breathing aided my momentum.I also made the qualifying time for CAC which was 55.02and I also improved upon my time for the Youth Olympic Games.The time also broke the meet record .Even though it was not a national record it was still a great achievement for me. Training after CARIFTA intensified.I really started working on my dryland and strength training. I started to do more exercises to help strengthen my body for the butterfly .Also the training in the pool has been very extensive and more work has been put into the long course training.I have been doing more butterfly and freestyle sets and also more endurance sets for my races which has greatly helped in improving my times for the 100 and also the 200, The training has been going well.I have cut down training a little bit because of the CAPE examinations that have been going on. But after exams I will go on to my regular pool and strength sessions so I can be fully prepared for the CAC Games”.

IZAAK BASTIAN BECOMES CARIFTA’S FASTEST EVER SWIMMER IN THE LAND OF THE SPRINTERS

At the 2018 CARIFTA in Kingston Jamaica  it seemed fitting if not almost poetic that Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas would win the  50 metre freestyle in a Championship record and crown himself the fastest of all time in a country known for its sprinting abilities. Added to that the previous Championship record was also set in Jamaica five years earlier .

Proud Bastian with free Gold
Izaak Bastian Championship record holder in the 50 metre freestyle and CARIFTA’s fastest ever swimmer Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

In 2017 Bastian had made the medal podium with a Silver medal winning effort in front of his home crowd with a time of 23.76 in the 15-17 age group. That was his PB and his only entry under the 24 seconds barrier. He posted 24.35 to be the fourth fastest heading into the Championship final.That morning swim on April 3 pointed towards another sub 24 clocking as he was 24.33 in the heats in 2017. He would be well under 24  seconds and would be the only swimmer under 23.50 as he took the title and wrote another page in the history books as set a new PB , Championship record and earned himself the moniker of the fastest swimmer at the CARIFTA Championships when he stopped the clock in 23.25. Silver went to Kai Legband of Bermuda in 23.93 and the Bronze to Jack Kirby of Barbados in 24.03.

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

In 2013   future Olympian Renzo Tjon A Joe (Rio 2016) set the 50 metre freestyle record with a heat swim of 23.37 on April 2.He would take the Gold just off that time as he touched in 23.44 turning back the challenges of the Trinidad and Tobago duo of another future Olympian Dylan Carter (Rio 2016) 23.46 and Joshua Romany 24.27. A year later he would take the Silver in the same event at the CAC Games in Veracruz Mexico with a time of 22.62.

Speaking to Draftingthecaribbean today Bastian recounted that historic swim in Jamaica

final preparations for free final Izaak
Bastian makes last minute preparations for the 50 metre freestyle Photo courtesy of Rochelle Bastian

“The 50 free was pretty good for me.I knew that I had to get out in front of everyone from the start to get out of the waves and get clear water.I wanted to see what I could do at the start and build on that momentum throughout the race.I did not have a goal time  I just wanted to give the race my all and focus on the things we have been working on in practice coming off the block fast , fast breakout. I did not really look at the record before I did not really think I would get the record.It was a big surprise to look up  see that I went 23.2”