2018 SWIMMING ACHIEVEMENTS-IZAAK BASTIAN NAMED JUNIOR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR BY THE NASSAU GUARDIAN

Regional standout Izaak Bastian of The Bahamas was recently named the Nassau Guardian Junior Male Athlete of the Year for 2018.

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

Bastian who still has one of year of CARIFTA eligibility has stood as one of the region’s top breaststroker at the junior level and has started to compete regularly at the tough World Junior and senior level.

He started the year well proving invincible at the inaugural UANA Cup in Florida and the CARIFTA Championships ensuring his name was etched in the record books

Meet50 breastPlace100 breastsplitPlace
UANA29.23 CRGold1:04.37 CR30.29Gold
CARIFTA28.69 CRGold1:03.12CR30.12Gold
Meet200 breastsplitPlace
CARIFTA2:17.78 CR ,NR1:05.33Gold
Bastian celebrates Championship record breaking swim in Kingston Jamaica .Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

In addition to a five star performance in the breaststroke events which included a senior national record in the 200 metre event he also added a top class performance in the 50 metre freestyle. He won Gold and set the Championship record in the land of the sprinters with a time of 23.25 . That took down the record of the region’s number one sprinter for 2018 Renzo Tjon A Joe of Suriname

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

https://draftingthecaribbean.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/scorching-summer-18-renzo-rules-the-pool-with-speed-completes-50-freestyle-trifecta-south-american-games-cccan-and-now-cac/

With a very short turnaround time Bastian was off to Australia to test his mettle against the best of the Commonwealth . In the 50 metre breaststroke he raced against the best in the world in the form of global standard bearer Adam Peaty of England. He maintained the Bahamian record of making the semi finals and recorded a time of 29.28

Dustin Tynes Photo courtesy of Ohio State Swimming
YearSemi final timeSwimmer
201429.53Dustin Tynes
200230.90Travano McPhee

There would be more senior meet action in store for Izaak as he would head to the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Colombia in the summer. His best result would be in the 100 metre breaststroke where he would make the Championship final and set a personal best of 1:02.91 to place seventh.

Izaak Bastian Photo courtesy of swimswam

Bastian would then start college at Florida State University and be back in competition for his nation at the Youth Olympics in Argentina in October. His best performance would in the 50 metre breaststroke. He would first record the fastest time ever from the English speaking Caribbean with a time with a 29.01. That would enable him to make the semifinal of the event, a first for a swimmer from the English speaking Caribbean . He would record a time of 29.35. He would also record the fastest time ever from the English speaking Caribbean in the 200 metre breaststroke with a clocking of 2:22.37.

At Florida State University he has made an impact on the programme. In the 100 yard breaststroke he is currently ranked 9th overall in the Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) with a personal best and NCAA B time of 54.19. He is also just outside the Seminoles all time top ten performers in the event with the tenth fastest swimmer Ryan Telford having a time of 54.02.

The 200 yard breaststroke sees him holding number 5 on the ACC conference top times listing with a 1:57.29 . The all time top performers list also sees him at fifth place with fellow CCCAN representative Julio Horrego of Honduras at number 6 with a time of 1:57.96.

Julio Horrego .Photo courtesy of seminoles.com

When draftingthecaribbean contacted Izaak we got his thoughts on 2018

Jesse Marsh Jamaica second from right Izaak Bastian Bahamas third from right along with their St Andrew’s teammates of the 200 medley relay

“This year was actually pretty good for me it was actually one of my better years. It comes with different training as well. I was at Saint Andrews for four years which did very well for me and switching it up for me (being at college ) is going to help me. It started off with UANA and before the competition I had taken 3 to 4 weeks off so I could mentally reset to get this year in order and my training blocks in order and I actually swam better than I expected to there. With those swims it gave me the confidence going into the year. Even though I took time off I am capable of a lot more so that was always in the back of mind giving me a confidence boost there. For CARIFTA I wanted to put it all in the pool and see what I could do. I try to bring my best every year but 2018 I really wanted to bring it. So I talked to Sid Cassidy ( Head Coach at Saint Andrews) about it so that we were on the same page. I wanted to fully taper down , shave and be the best I could be for a meet at that time. I went to Jamaica and I honestly think I surpassed my expectations .I won every event I swum except for the 100 metre freestyle.

Jeron Thompson and Kael Yorke .Photo courtesy of Trinidad Express

I had a really good time racing all the guys like Kael Yorke and Jeron Thompson from Trinidad and Tobago, Luis Sebastian Weekes from Barbados, Tyler Russell from The Bahamas. After that I went straight to the Commonwealth Games , my first senior international meet. It was a great experience but not the best meet coming straight from CARIFTA , getting sick right after CARIFTA and flying two days. It was rough but I still wanted to go knowing I would miss some of my better events 200 metre breaststroke and 100 metre breaststroke.I still wanted to go to have my first senior international exposure to prepare for the rest of 2018 and 2019. It was my first time in a village and I had a lot of fun and getting to meet some of the older guys from the other sports like Shaunae Miller-Uibo and stars like that. I really wanted to test myself. Last summer I went to FSU and started to train long course there. We went to CAC Games with somewhat of a taper.It was not what I was used to for a taper . I went there with the same mentality as CARIFTA ,just bring it and see what I could do.Even though I had changed programmes still have the confidence to know the training made sense and was going to work out for me. I went best times and had a good time there.It was a great time in Colombia especially with the new training and learning to trust their process now instead of what I was normally used to because I will be working with them for the next four years.At the Youth Olympics I did my best and like the Commonwealth Games I made the semis in the 50 metre breaststroke. At FSU we had our mid season meet (the Georgia Tech Invite Nov 15 to 17) and it was good to see the team dynamics works at a championship meet. It was definitely more taxing than the normal one day duel meet. I am in training for our championship meet ACC’s which are the end of February and the beginning of March and NCAA hopefully in Austin Texas the end of March. At our training in Deerfield we ramped up the training and really got to see what we were made of”.

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CARIFTA BREASTSTROKE CHAMPIONS LILLY HIGGS AND IZAAK BASTIAN NAVIGATE MAKE FIRST SENIOR LEVEL CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

The Bahamian duo of CARIFTA Champions Lilly Higgs and Izaak Bastian made the championship finals at the 2018 CAC (Central American and Caribbean) Games in Barranquilla Colombia on July 20 and 21st respectively.

final preparations for free final Izaak
Bastian makes last minute preparations for his race at CARIFTA 2018. Photo courtesy of Rochelle Bastian

This competition marks their second opportunity participating at a senior level meet, the first time was earlier this year at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. With more rest between competitions both swimmers who hold the fastest time ever in this event at the CARIFTA level were able to make the Championship final in the 100 metre breaststroke events. Lilly placed fifth in a time of 1:11.32 just ahead of countrywoman Laura Morley who stopped the clock in 1:12.34. In 2014 there was also a Bahamian as Lilly’s older sister Albury had placed fourth in 1:14.06.

Higgs sisters CAC 2018
CAC 100 metre breaststroke championship finalists in 2018 and 2014 Lilly and Albury Higgs Photo courtesy of Bahamas Aquatics

 

 

Bastian lowered his best time twice .In the heats he had a time of 1:02.99 (split time 29.49)  and in the final he placed seventh 1:02.91( split time 28.96). His split is significant as he won the 50 metre breaststroke at CARIFTA in Kingston Jamaica earlier this year in 28.69.

Izaak and Lilly Shelly Bas productions
Izaak Bastian and Lilly Higgs after their historic 2017Commonwealth Youth Games  Silver medal winning performances Photo courtesy of Shelly Bastian

 

The presence of three Bahamians in Championship finals at this competition also speaks to the proficiency of that nation in this stroke.

Draftingthecaribbean contacted Lilly and asked about her first senior level Championship final and she gave us her thoughts about her first day of competition

“Overall, my races today went pretty well. This morning I swam the backstroke leg on the mixed 4×100 medley relay and later swam 100 breaststroke and qualified for the A final. My prelims swim wasn’t what I wanted, but I was still able to get another swim and am very happy with my finals swim!”

 

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 ?

 

ALBURY HIGGS CONTINUES CAC PREPARATIONS WITH YET ANOTHER RECORD BREAKING BREASTSTROKE SWIM

Albury Higgs continued her record breaking run from the 2018 REV National Swimming championships with another record  breaststroke swim at the 2018 Bulldog Grand Slam in Athens Georgia.

 

Competing in the 100 metre breaststroke at the Garbielsen Natatorium on July 6 Albury qualified for the B final with a time of 1:12.12 (split time of 33.42). In the final later that afternoon she used a different approach to the one she employed in record breaking swim in Nassau. She attacked the race from the start with a split of 33.31. That gave her an early advantage of more than a half a second.She would not be caught and split 37.46 on the second 50 metres to win the race in 1:10.77.

100 breaststroke nationals 2018
2018 REV National Swimming Championships 15 and over medal podium from left to right Lilly Higgs, Albury Higgs and Laura Morley Photo courtesy of Pleasants Parott Higgs

COMPARISON OF RECORD SWIMS

100 metre breaststroke 2018 REV National 2018 Bulldog GrandSlam
First 50 metres 36.65 33.31
Second 50 metres 34.52 37.46
Final Time 1:11.17 1:10.77

Albury who lowered the national standards in the 200 and 100 metre breaststroke last month has now bettered the automatic qualifying standards for the 2019 PAN AM Games of 1:11.11.She is also another step closer to going under the mythical 1:10 barrier . Also of note that time would have won the Gold medal at the 2014 CAC (Central American and Caribbean ) Games where she had placed fourth.

When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Albury she gave us her impression of the race and spoke about her tactics

“I was trying to take out the first 50 faster than I had previously this summer. It went well considering I didn’t rest for this meet, so I am hoping that rest will help me bring the last 50 home a little better. Excited for CAC and to represent the Bahamas one more time this summer!”

Team Bahamas will also be represented at the 2018 CAC Games from July 20 to 25 in Barranquilla, Colombia by Olympian Joanna Evans (Rio 2016),Lilly Higgs,Laura Morley, Izaak Bastian, Kohen Kerr and N’Nhyn Fernander

Bahamas women
Bahamas women on 2018 CAC team from left to right Evans,Higgs and Morley

Bahamas men
Bahamas men on 2018 CAC team from left to righ Bastian, Fernander and Kerr

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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”