The final day of the FINA World Cup tour in Singapore saw lightning striking twice for Jamaica in the 50 metre breaststroke Championship final. The ladies from the land, wood and water were history makers again on Day Two and decided to do it again on the final day of the tour.
In the morning heats of the 50 metre breaststroke Roman and Russia’s Yulia Efimova went head to head .Roman did well against the seasoned European with a personal best time of 31.06. Yulia took the win in a time of 30.42. Alia took the final heat with with a time of 29.96 , the only sub 30 seconds time of the morning qualifiers.
Singapore has been a happy hunting for Atkinson having never lost a 50 metre breaststroke race and in the sensational form she has been in was in no mood to lose that winning record. When the starter’s gun went off it would be as it had been all tour long Alia with the fastest reaction time of 0.64 .It would be a case of “last one fast one” and Alia turned it up again in the final to beat the field by over a second and win in a time of 28.93.Teammate Roman was just off her newly minted personal best with a 5th place performance of 31.41. Silver went to Australian Australian Emily Seebohm in 30.25 and the Bronze went to Russian Vitalina Simonova in 31.11. Efimova was disqualified.
Analysis of the Alia’s performances in Singapore
With the reign of Atkinson and the rise of Roman on the international stage and other female swimmers such as Emily MacDonald,Gabrianna Banks, Bryanna Renuart, Shaun Johnson among others making a name for themselves it would not be be improbable to see Jamaica push for a relay medal at the PAN AM Games .
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.
The afternoon session of the Dean Martin Memorial Swim meet on October 27 saw Jillian Crooks of Camana Bay Aquatics again breaking more Cayman Islands 11-12 national records. Joining her in the record breaking party was Zarek Wilson of the Blue Dolphins of Trinidad and Tobago who also lowered the English speaking record 11-12 butterfly record.
It would be Wilson who started the record breaking in the 200 metre butterfly. Zarek already held the fastest English speaking Caribbean mark in the 11-12 age group when he had set the bar at 2:20.25 at meet earlier in the month. As the race was open he would test his skills with older swimmers . He did not waste the opportunity as he and Jordane Payne of the Y Speedos battled for the majority of the race for supremacy. In the end it would Wilson prevailing and becoming the first 11-12 English speaking swimmer under 2:20. He touched in a time of 2:17.82 .
Records bettered on the way to his new mark was the meet standard of 2:33.52 set by Nathaniel Thomas and the fastest time set in Jamaica by an 11-12 boy of 2:22.71 in 2013 by Damon St Prix at CARIFTA 2013. Also downed was the fastest time recorded at the meet of 2:20.91 by Payne in 2017. When he was in Jamaica for the CARIFTA Championships and won this event he had recorded a time of 2:23.22. In his sights before he enters the 13-14 age group will be the all time 11-12 CCCAN record of 2:15.69 set by Mexico’s Joshua Laisequilla in 2011. Payne would top the 15-16 swimmers and better his own record with a clocking of 2:20.86.
Zarek would also record the fastest time for the meet when he won the 400 IM in a time of 5:18.30. That bettered the 2015 mark of 5:24.99 held by Zachary Moore of the Stingray Swim Club of the Cayman Islands.
Crooks would set her national marks in the 200 metre freestyle and 100 metre breaststroke. In the freestyle event would see Crooks, the 2018 CCCAN Bronze medallist in event battling with the CCCAN Gold medallist and national record holder Jamaican Morgan Cogle of Jupiter Dragons. Crooks would take the win in Kingston as both swimmer went under the 2016 record of 2:19.16 held by the former Jamaican national record holder in the event Emily MacDonald of Swimaz. Crooks would touch in 2:15.17 with Cogle second in 2:17.00. Crooks previous best and national record from CCCAN stood at 2:16.95.
In the 100 metre breaststroke she was not the first to wall as Kokolo Foster of the Tornadoes Swim club lead her to the pads in a time of 1:23.18. Jillian touched just behind in 1:23.60. Both swimmers bettered the 2008 record of 1:24.19 held by Octivia Gray of the Marlins Swim Club. Crooks bettered the 2015 national record of Alison Jackson of 1:24.96.
Brother Jordan , a 2018 Youth Olympics competitor and flag bearer would also set meet marks in Kingston . He took down the record in the 15-16 boys 100 metre freestyle of 55.48 with a time of 54.42. Battling him to the wall was Kyle Sinclair of the Y Speedos timed in 55.02. In the same race teammates from the Tornadoes Swim Club Jordan Hines and Sean -Douglas Gooden topped the 17-18 division with swims of 57.41 and 58.26 respectively and were both under the meet standard of 59.26.
The 200 metre freestyle would see Jordan lowering the 15-16 mark of 2:05.00 by Stingrays Jonathan Key and recording the best time ever done at Dean Martin with a 2:01.05 performance (split time 58.68).
Cogle would bounce back from the 200 freestyle to record the fastest time ever done by a girl at the meet when she stopped the clock in 5:39.56. that swim broke the 11-12 record of 5:47.56 by Ria Plunkett of the Stingrays Swim Club in 2015.It is also faster than the best mark ever at the meet , the 15-16 record of 5:39.99 by Breanna Roman of Swimaz Aquatics.
Other notable records on the day saw the Tornadoes duo of Sabrina Lyn and Sean -Douglas Gooden taking down the breaststroke records in the 13-14 and 17-18 age groups respectively with swims of 1:19.74 and 1:11.45.
Lyn also lowered the 200 metre butterfly record for good measure in a time of 2:41.67 .Last year she had set the 11-12 record with a time of 2:46.66.
The 2018 Dean Martin Memorial swim promised to be an exciting three days of swimming action and the first session held at the National Aquatic Centre did not disappoint. Leading the way on night one of action was young sensation from the Camana Bay Aquatics Club from the Cayman Islands Jillian Crooks.
Her last competitive outing saw her smashing eight national records including a senior national record in the 25 metre pool. The question now was could she transfer her short course form to the big pool (50 metre ) .Question asked Answer EASILY.
In her very first event the 100 metre backstroke she produced a new PB, meet record and 11-12 Cayman national record swim and the fastest time ever swum by an 11-12 girl in Jamaica of 1:08.40. That was the only sub 1:10 swim of the day and also the fastest female performance ever at meet. With splits of 33.43 and 35.95 Jillian proved herself a class a part.
She has also shown much improvement as the youngest swimmer in the Championship final of this event at CARIFTA in Kingston earlier this year she had placed 5th in 1:15.71. The old national record of 1:10.45 has already belonged to Jillian from her CCCAN Silver medal winning performance. The old meet record belonged to Jamaican age group star Angara Sinclair at 1:14.97.The previous fastest ever mark by an 11-12 girl was held by Trinidad and Tobago’s Tyla Martin who won Gold in that age group at CARIFTA 2010
In her next race on the night she would destroy another Cayman 11-12 age group record in the 200 metre individual medley. At the 2018 CCCAN Championships in Aruba she won the Silver medal in a time of 2:36.70. After she swum the race it would become part of history as she clocked the only sub 2:40 time time on the night and the fastest ever female performance at the meet of 2:34.88. The old 11-12 record of 2:42.65 belonged to another Jamaican age group star Victoria Ho. An aggressive opening butterfly leg changed the course of the race and allowed her to win easily.
Second in the 11-12 age group was Jamaican age group star and 2018 CCCAN Bronze medallist in the event Morgan Cogle of Jupiter Dragons who stopped the clock in 2:43.81.
There would be another quality performance in the 11-12 age group as CARIFTA’s top 11-12 male swimmer Zarek Wilson of Blue Dolphins of Trinidad and Tobago won the 1500 metre freestyle in 18:24.66 . That shattered the previous fastest 1500 metre freestyle of 18:51.65 set by Zachary Moore of the Stingrays Swim Club in 2015. He also produced the fastest time across all age groups on the night.He would also set a new mark in the 11-12 200 metre individual medley as he became the first 11-12 swimmer under 2:30 seconds at the meet with a top age group time of 2:28.86
Jamaica’s first CCCAN open water medallist Daniel Mair of the Tornadoes Swim Club dropped more than 10 seconds to place second overall in the 11-12 age group with a time of 19:04.69.
Jamaica’s 2018 15-17 CARIFTA Championship Gold Medallist in the 200 metre freestyle Britney Williams lowered the 15-16 age group meet record in the 100 metre backstroke.The Swimaz aquatics athlete touched the wall in a time of 1:15.16 .That bettered the old meet record held by Angara Sinclair of 1:16.01.
There would be an exciting battle in the 15-16 10 metre backstroke as Kyle Sinclair of the Y Speedos and and a member of the 15-17 2018 CARIFTA 200 freestyle team that set the Jamaican age group record in the event and Jordan Crooks,2018 Youth Olympics flag bearer of the Cayman Islands and Camana Bay Aquatics went stroke for stroke to the wall . Sinclair got the victory in 1:03.75 and Jordan a touch behind in 1.03.98.
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.