The 100 metre butterfly for men at the14th FINA World Swimming Championships in Hangzhou China saw Mehdy Metella who hails from French Guinana and represents France and Cadell Lyons of Trinidad and Tobago as the best swimmers in the 100 metre butterfly .
The last time both swimmers would have been at the same major competition was CARIFTA 2008 in Aruba where they swam against each other in the 15-17 100 metre butterfly. Cadell was the victor on that occasion
It would be Metella who would have the upper hand in 2018 as would make his way to the Championship with a series of swims of 50.42 heats ,49.77 semifinals and the Championship final of 49.45 (split time 23.02) to finish 4th . That performance lowered his national record of 49.58 set at the French National Championships last month.In 2016 in Windsor he had finished 5th and two years earlier in Qatar he had finished 12th.
Mehdy is a part of regional sibling royalty as his older sister Malia who at one point owned the CARIFTA 50 metre freestyle Championship records int the 11-12 and 13-14 age groups at 27.86 in 1995 and 27.45 in 1997. She would then go on to win the Silver medal in the event at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in a time of 24.89. Mehdy would match that achievement with a Silver medal in the 400 metre freestyle relay at the 2016 Rio Games.
Cadell placed 37th in a time of 52.91 (split time 24.52) . He was just off the national record of 52.81. He bettered the fastest time ever done by a swimmer from his nation. The previous best time at these championship was 53.15 by Joshua McLeod.
Seggio Bernardina of Curaçao lowered the national record of 56.82 when he placed 44th in a time of 54.25.The old record was set by Adrian Hoek at the 2016 Windsor Championships
COMPARISON OF NATIONAL RECORDS
N’Nhyn Fernander touched in 56.25 (split time 25.19) for 51st.Zeniel Guzman of the Dominican Republic was 57th in a time of 57.57 (split time 26.89).
St Lucia’s Jayhan Odlum-Smith continued his record breaking in the 100 metre butterfly from the OECS swimming Championships when he set another national standard to place 57th. He registered a time of 57.64 (split time 27.49)
Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson was the regional standard bearer on the first day of competition of the 14th FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships underway in Hangzhou China. Atkinson made her fifth consecutive World Championship final in the 50 metre breaststroke.A feat no other woman has ever achieved.
This morning local time Atkinson progressed to the final with a time of 29.54 but what was different this occasion is that she will contest the final as the fastest seed. This looks to be a good indicator that she will take the Global title in this event after winning three consecutive Silver medals.She has always made the final in the event five of the six times she has entered the event. In her debut in Athens in 2004 she had placed 17th in a time of 33.17.
Analysis of Atkinson’s semi final performances
Champs 2010 United Arab Emirates
Other ladies representing the region in that race were Victoria Russell of The Bahamas who registered a time of 32.94 for 34th. Anahi Schreuders lowered her own national record of 34.46 to place 39th in 33.90.
The region’s top middle and long distance freestyler El Salvador’s Marcelo Acosta solidified that position with a new national record of 3:42.74 (split time that shattered his old national record set in 2014 in Qatar of 3:53.11. That swim ranked Acosta 13th overall a big jump from 2014 when he placed 51st .Antigua and Barbuda’s Stefano Mitchell placed 40th with a swim of 4:06.94.
Elisbet Gamos of Cuba was the region’s top swimmer in the women’s 200 metre freestyle placing 21st with a time of 1:58.37 (split time 58.33).
Other regional 200 metre freestyle results
Antigua and Barbuda
In the 200 metre butterfly there were national records for Cuban Luis Vega Torres (27th) 1:57.45(split time 56.51),Bryan Alvarez of Costa Rica (34th) 2:01.57 (split time 57.96), Guatemala’s Fernando Ponce (35th) 2:04.91 (split time 59.71)
Cadell Lyons was the top swimmer for the men in the 100 metre backstroke placing 36th in a time of 54.92 (split time 26.07). He was just off his national record of 54.36
Other regional 100 metre backstroke results
In the 400 metre individual medley Costa Rica’s Daniela Alfaro lowered the 1986 national record of 5:12.86 by Olympian Sylvia Poll to 5:01.36. That swim placed her 30th overall.
In the men’s 100 metre breaststroke Panama’s Edgar Crespo led the region with a sub minute performance of 59.40 (split time 27.40). Costa Rica’s Arnoldo Herrara lowered his own national record from 1:02.39 to 1:02.20 to place 51st overall.
Other regional results
St Vincent and the Grenadines
It was Krystal Lara of the Dominican Republic that had the region’s top time in the 100 metre backstroke. She stopped the clock in a time of 1:00.28 (split time 29.17) to finish 32nd overall
Other regional results
2018 CAC Champion Jarrod Arroyo of Puerto Rico was the top performer in the 200 metre individual medley with a time of 2:00.97 placing 32nd , just missing the national record of 2:00.49 (split time 57.12). Patrick Groters of Aruba shattered the Aruban national record of 2:17.86 when he finished 35th in a time of 2:02.16 (split time 55.77).
At the recently concluded CCCAN swimming Championships held in Aruba Nigel Forbes continued his epic season in an 11-12 age group division which was brimming with talent. Forbes stood tall among his peers in the breaststroke for 2018 and was unbeaten for the season in that stroke .
It would be the 50 metre breaststroke in which he would make put together a masterpiece of a swim .Already the fastest Bahamian 11-12 breaststroker of all time with 32.54 he now had his sights on the 2005 CCCAN record of Panamanian Arturo Medina of 32.42 .That time tied Bermudan Sam Williamson 11-12 national mark of 32.42 as the second fastest of all time in the CCCAN region. The unofficial record was held by Aruba Jordy Groters at 32.41. Things looked promising for young Forbes when he clocked the fastest time of the preliminaries of 32.99. In the championship Final Forbes took off from the sounding of the starter’s gun and was more than a body length of the field by the 25 metre mark.With the question of the Gold answered what needed to be determined was what the record would be lowered to . Forbes continued to blaze towards the wall and slapped the pads in a time of 32.15 , a new PB, Bahamian , CCCAN Championship record and he can officially hold the moniker of the fastest the region had ever seen in the event. Winning the Silver was Trinidad and Tobago Nikoli Blackman in 34.74 and the Bronze to Edu Trejos in 34.75. It was this event that he created history for the CARIFTA region by winning the first ever Gold medal at the inaugural UANA Championships so it is fitting that he would take the regional Triple Crown UANA , CARIFTA and CCCAN titles in the fastest swim of all time.
The 100 metre breaststroke would see Nigel putting another show of scintillating speed.As with the 50 metre breaststroke he was already the best The Bahamas had ever produced with his 1:12.24 clocking from the REV nationals and was within a hair’s breadth of the CCCAN record time of 1:12.18 set by Olympian Carlos Claverie of Venezuela (Rio 2016) .
Claverie won Bronze at the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing China in the 100 metre breaststroke in a time of 1:01.56.
After easing into the final with a time of 1:14.78 he decided to turn on the thrills in the final. When the race started Nigel again separated himself by some distance by the halfway mark turning in 33.13, a split that would have would the Silver in the 50 metre race. He kept applying the pressure and touched in a new PB,Bahamian record and CCCAN Championship record of 1:11.16. Forbes is now the fastest ever swimmer the CARIFTA region has produced in the event.He just missed the unofficial CCCAN 2014 record of 1:10.94 held by Puerto Rico’s Daniel Chevere. The win also marked another Triple Crown performance ( UANA, CARIFTA and CCCAN). Silver went to Panamanian Trejos in 1:13.24 and Blackman won Bronze in 1:16.24.
The 200 metre breaststroke which was Forbes first individual race saw a colossal battle between himself and Trejos. The Panamian started the race with a split of 35.67 followed by Nigel with a 36.50 . They were the only swimmers under 37 seconds for the first 50 metres and well ahead of the rest of the field. Nigel kept closing the gap on Edu until he was ahead by .01 ahead of him coming off the final wall.
He then stepped on the gas to take the win in a new PB and Bahamas record 2:36.00. Forbes just missed another Claverie standard of 2:35.89 but is now the fastest ever 11-12 200 metre breaststroke swimmer from the CARIFTA region. Edu was close behind winning Silver in 2:36.32. Bronze went to Stefan Bonati of the Cayman Islands in 2:49.08.
There would be more Gold for Forbes in Aruba in the sprint butterfly events. In the 100 metre butterfly he won the Gold based on a strong back half. This, as he was behind at the 50 metre mark as the early leaders Christopher Gossmann of Guatemala 29.23 and Trinidad and Tobago standout Zarek Wilson 29.44. Nigel’s split was 30.05. He however provided the fastest last 50 metres to take the Gold in 1:01.95 a new PB and Bahamian record taking almost a second off the 2014 Evante Gibson standard of 1:02.83 .that completed the regional Golden Double as he won the CARIFTA Gold in 1:04.05 earlier this year in Kingston. Silver went to Wilson in a new PB of 1:02.16 and the Bronze to Gossmann in 1:02.23.The same trio finished in the exact same order earlier at the UANA cup with times of 1:03.34,1:03.48 and 1:04.19 respectively
In the 50 metre butterfly he posted the only sub 28 seconds time in the final to win 27.73. Omari Sealy of Barbados took the Silver in 28.17 and Gossman 28.25. He holds the national record at 27.67.
In the 100 metre freestyle he dipped under the 58 seconds barrier for the first time to win Silver in a PB and national record time 57.79.Gold went to Blackman in 57.61 and the Bronze to his teammate Marvin Johnson in 58.75. The old 11-12 record of 57.99 belonged to Lamar Taylor .
There would be another Silver for Forbes and Team Bahamas in the 200 metre mixed freestyle relay.The team of Johnson (27.98),Keianna Moss (28.72) ,Devin Cuffy-Bethel 28.98 and Forbes (25.76) stopped the clock in 1:50.64 just behind Team Trinidad and Tobago 1:50.29 .The Bronze went to the Cayman Islands in 1:52.64. Nigel placed 9th in the 400 metre freestyle.
When draftingthecaribbean contacted the young swimmer he gave his thoughts on his breaststroke Gold medals . He said that he felt great about all the breaststroke races his favourite was the 100 metre race. When questioned about the 200 metre event if he knew about the record and if he could have gone faster he said he did not think he could have gone any faster because he had great competition from his Panamanian competitor (Edu Trejos) and he gave it his all. Forbes now owns 7 of the 16 individual Bahamian national records for the 11-12 age group
As she did at the 2015 World Junior Championships in Singapore Lilly Higgs of The Bahamas was the CCCAN region’s top performer in the 50 metre breaststroke event today in Indianapolis.
Higgs, who is her country’s standard bearer in the event clocked 32.84 to be in place joint 20th overall with Australian Sarah Beale and be the top swimmer from the CCCAN region. For Higgs who has been unbeaten in this race for the last three years at the CARIFTA Championships this was an improvement in time and placing from 2015 where she finished 21st in 33.19. Lilly was not far off making the semi-finals as it took 32.59 to make the top 16.
Mexico’s Maria Jiminez was 28th in a time of 33.32. Guatemala’s Jimina Ximin clocked in at 36.56 for 39th. It was a keen battle for who would be the top Honduran in the event. That accolade went Paola Cwu who was marginally ahead of countrywoman Angie Vilorio 37.21 to 37.36 to finish 43rd and 44th respectively.
The total tally of World Championship qualifying performances achieved at the CCCAN Championships stands at 16 as Day 5 came to an end at the National Aquatic Centre in Couva, Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday July 2.The swimmers helped in running up the score on Sunday included Valerie Gruest of Guatemala, Marcelo Acosta of El Salvador, Luis Flores of Puerto Rico, Joshua Romany of Trinidad and Tobago and Edgar Crespo of Panama.
Olympian Gruest in the 15-17 400 metre freestyle won her race convincingly in a time of 4:16.42 well under the B standard of 4:19.34.That was her seventh Gold medal of the Championship and her second World Championship qualifying mark.
Marcelo Acosta won the 18 and over boys 400 metre freestyle in a Championship record time of 3:55.54. That bettered the Hungary World Championship B standard of 3:56.14. His swim was also faster than the 2011 meet record of 3:59.06 by Puerto Rico’s Raul Martinez. Silver went to Aruban Mikel Schreuders in a new national record of 3:58.38.The Bronze went to the English speaking fastest ever swimmer in the event Alex Sobers of Barbados in 4:00.17.
In the battle to decide the fastest man at CCCAN the morning heats saw two men under the 50 metre freestyle B standard of 23.26.Luis Flores of Puerto Rico 22.85 to top the qualifiers heading into the final. Trinidad and Tobago’s Joshua Romany was the second seed with a time of 23.01.
In the final the positions remained the same with both men just off their morning swims. Flores took Gold in 22.85 and Romany the Silver in 23.06 with Schreuders winning Bronze in 23.49 in a new national record.
Bettering the World Championship B cut was Panamanian Edgar Crespo. In the morning preliminaries of the 18 and over men’s 100 metre breaststroke he lowered his 2009 Championship record of 1:03.83 by clocking 1:02.79. That performance topped the qualifiers and just missed the B standard of 1:02.46. In the final he underlined his number one seeding with Gold medal winning time and new Championship record of 1:02.37. Silver was won by Aruba’s Jordy Groters in 1:04.07 and the Bronze went Coast Rica’s Arnoldo Herrera in 1:04.89.
Also doing the Championship record double was Bahamian Albury Higgs. In the morning she lowered Jamaica Olympian Alia Atkinson’s (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016) 2005 15-17 girls 100 metre breaststroke record of 1:13.93 with a 1:12.93 effort. Higgs would lower that mark in the afternoon with a Gold medal winning time of 1:12.79.She was followed to the wall by Curaçao’s Chadé Nercisio who clocked 1:14.27. Marissa Lugo of Puerto Rico was timed in 1:15.58 and won the Bronze.
Also in Championship record mode was one half of the Bermudan 11-12 super duo Elan Daley. In the final of the 11-12 50 metre freestyle she lowered the 1995 Championship record of 27.55 set by another 11-12 star of yester year, Trinidad and Tobago’s Cerian Gibbes. Daley won in a new national record and English speaking Caribbean best of 26.82.No other English speaking Caribbean girl has ever swum faster than 27 seconds. Jamaican speedster Zaneta Alvaranga placed second in 27.78.The other half of the super duo Payton Zelkin won the Bronze is 28.01.
In the 13-14 girls 200 metre backstroke Danielle Titus of Barbados set a new Championship, age group and senior national record with her swim of 2:22.39. Titus lowered the 1985 record of 2:22.50 of Costa Rican Olympian Sylvia Poll (1988, 1992). Second went to Vanegas Yanci of Guatemala in 2:24.41 and the Bronze Jahmia Harley to 2:27.05.
Swimmers who achieved the regional Golden Double on the final day included
Saturday July 1 at the CCCAN Championships in Trinidad and Tobago saw two more swimmers Olympians Edgar Crespo of Panama (2012,2016) and Aruban Mikel Schreuders (2016) bettering the World Championships B standards.Those swims bought the overall World Championship qualifying performances to eight.
Competing in the 18 and over category at the National Aquatic Centre in Couva Crespo was faster than the World Championship B standard of 28.47 when he recorded 28.08 to top the qualifiers for the final with a time of 28.08. He was also under the 2013 Championship record of 28.61 set by Trinidad and Tobago’s Abraham McLeod . Edgar would be even faster in the final when he became the first swimmer under the 28 seconds barrier when he won the Gold in 27.94. Following him to the wall for the Silver in a new Aruban national record of 28.57 and just outside the B time was Jordy Groters. His old national record was 28.60 .Winning the Bronze in 28.97 was his countryman Mikel Schreuders.
Mikel would lower an Aruban national mark of his own and better the B time for the Hungary World Championships when he won Gold in the 100 metre freestyle in a time of 50.55. The B standard is 50.64. Winning the Silver was Trinidad and Tobago’s Joshua Romany in personal best of 50.75. Bronze went to Olympian Avila Kevin (2012) in 51.68.
There were a number of near misses with the World championship cuts as well. In the 18 and over category Suriname’s Olympian Evita Leter (2016) hit the pads in 32.72 for the win in the 50 metre breaststroke. The time to beat was 32.31. In the 15-17 200 metre butterfly Guatemalan Olympian Valerie Gruest stopped the clock in 2:14.59, a new Championship record but just shy of the B time of 2:14.31.
Other meet records to fall included the 15-17 200 metre butterfly for girls. That was the result of another Gruest effort as she bettered the 1987 standard of Olympian Silvia Poll of 2:23.23 with a 2:20.42 swim to take the Gold.
Another Olympian’s record would fall in the 13-14 equivalent as Daniela Alfaro of Costa Rica bettered Mexican Rita Medrano’s (2012) 2005 standard of 2:19.75 with a 2:18.65 clocking.
In the boys 15-17 age group Crespo lost his 2007 15-17 record of 29.33as local standout Jeron Thompson won Gold in 29.26. Winning the Silver and also under the record was Fausto David Heron of the Dominican Republic who swam 29.32.
Thompson was one six swimmers that completed the regional Golden Double winning at the CARIFTA Championships in The Bahamas in April and again in Trinidad and Tobago.
Day three (June 30) of the CCCAN Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Trinidad and Tobago saw more exciting races and championship records and also more World Championship qualifying swims. Those World championship Qualifying performances came from the local stars Olympian Dylan Carter and Joshua Romany.
Dylan competing in the 18 and over 200 metre freestyle crushed the 2009 Championship record Costa Rica’s Olympian Mario Montoya of 1:52.43 with a 1:48.91 clocking. That bettered the World Championship B qualifying mark of 1:51.50.Also under the record and just missing the B standard was El Salvador’s Olympian Marcelo Acosta who clocked 1:51.76 for the Silver. Aruban Olympian Mikel Schreuders took the Bronze in 1:51.76.
In the 18 and over 50 metre butterfly Joshua Romany bettered the 2011 championship record of countryman Joshua McLeod of 24.43 as well as the World Championship B standard time of 24.50 with a Gold medal winning time of 24.40. Winning the Silver was N’Nhyn Fernander of The Bahamas in 24.94 and the Bronze was won by Christian Awah of Trinidad and Tobago in 25.06.
The winning times by Carter and Romany brought the World Championship qualifying tally to five.
In the girls 15-17 50 metre butterfly the crowd was treated to excellent sprinting by Curaçao’s Chadé Nercisio. She became the fastest woman of all time at CCCAN when she broke the 28 seconds barrier in the 50 metre butterfly when she clocked 27.99 in the morning heats. All her energy was not spent after that national record swim as she returned in the evening to destroy that mark and record a time of 27.59. that swim was not too far off the World championships B mark of 27.42. Silver went to Celismar Guzman of Puerto Rico won the Silver in 28.62 and the Bronze went to Celina Marquez of El Salvador in 28.65.
Valerie Gruest of Guatemala just missed out on another World Championships qualifying mark when she took Gold in the 15-17 400 metre individual medley in a time of 4:54.67. That swim bettered the 2009 meet record of 5:02.43 by Maria Coy.That was just off the B standard of 4:52.97. CARIFTA Champion Albury Higgs won Silver in 5:03.67. The Bronze went to Marissa Lugo of Puerto Rico in 5:11.77.
Other championship record to fall on the day went to Zaneta Alvaranga of Jamaica in the girls 11-12 50 metre butterfly. She lowered the meet record of 29.85 twice .She swam 29.32 in the heats before uncorking a 28.74 for the Gold in the final.
In the 13-14 age group Beatriz Padron of Costa Rica Gold 28.36,Katie Kyle of St Lucia Silver 28.80 and Trinidad and Tobago’s Gabriela Donahue Bronze 28.85 all bettered the 2011 record of 28.89 by Dorian McMenemy.
Swimmers who completed the Regional Gold Double on Day Three by winning their respective events at CARIFTA in The Bahamas and at CCCAN in Trinidad and Tobago include