In the swimming fraternity locally and regionally Rajiv Redhi is known as a top junior breaststroker for his school Wolmer’s Boys’ and as a representative for Jamaica. This is evidenced by his 200 metre breaststroke Silver medal performance in the 11-12 age group at the 2016 CARIFTA Games in Martinique. He would also have four other Championship final performances placing 4th in the in the 50 and 100 metre breaststroke.
Later that year in The Bahamas he would compete for the national team at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships from June 29 to July 2. He would make three Championship finals in the 50, 100 and 200 metre breaststroke event, just missing out on a podium finish with fourth place performances.
What others may not know is that his athletic abilities also extend to the sport of cricket. He follows a tradition of a number of Wolmerians and members of his local the Y Speedos before him who played cricket for the school and represented Jamaica in the pool nationally. Those names include the Foote brothers Mark and Gordon in the 1980s and Stefan Steer in the 1990s. Where Rajiv has taken it a step further is by gaining selection to the national Cricket team. He played for Jamaica in the Under 15 tournament in Grenada in 2016.
Also in 2016 Rajiv helped the boys from the Heroes Circle based institution win the ISSA Under 14 All Island First Global Champions. In parish competition he helped Kingston capture the Under 15 Championship when they beat St Elizabeth in the final in August of that year.
This year playing in the Urban Area Sunlight Cup competition for Under 19 boys he snared 27 wickets with his left hand spin bowling. He also competed in the Colts Under 16 competition where he amassed 22 wickets.
He had an amazing match haul during that competition of seven wickets for eight runs from eight overs. He has again gained selection to the national Under 15 team to play in Barbados.
Even better news would come in late May as Redhi has been selected to play for the West Indies Under 15 team that will tour England from August 8-21, 2017.His selection was based upon his performances in Grenada in 2016.
When draftingthecaribbean contacted Redhi he said this was the start of his dream and that he was happy and excited and wanted to be the youngest player to make the West Indies senior team. He stated that this was his platform to showcase his talent.
The University of South Carolina’s Albury Higgs of The Bahamas competed in the SEC (Southeastern Championships) in her first year of college making a B final and lowering her personal bests in the 200 yard breaststroke and the 400 yard individual medley.
The meet which took place from Feb 14-18 at the Allan-Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center in Knoxville Tennessee saw the freshman competing in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke and the 400 yard individual medley in her SEC debut.
It would be the 200 yard breaststroke where she would make her greatest impact. Heading to the conference she had a season best time of 2:18.76 (split time 1:05.96) and a personal best time of 2:14.06 (split time 1:03.99). In the heats of the event it was clear that both times would be committed to history as she covered the first 100 yards in a time of 1:03.34. When she touched the final wall Albury would have a new season and personal best time of 2:12.67. That would be good enough to earn her an evening swim in the B final. In that final the first 100 yards was again the indicator of the personal best to come. Higgs went out even faster with a split time of 1:03.23. The question was now how much she would lower her personal standard by. When she hit the pads the time registered was 2:11.49 for 5th place .Another personal best by more than a second.
Her success in the longer breaststroke event is a continuation of her form in 2016 when she was crowned the 15-17 CARIFTA champion in March and the 15-17 CISC Champion in June in the 200 metre breaststroke. Also bettered in both her heats and final swim was the NCAA Division B standard of 2:15.99.
In the 400 yard individual medley Higgs would again better her season best of 4:22.79 and personal best of 4:19.56. Albury would register a time of 4:18.65 to better the NCAA Division I B standard of 4:19.39 for 28th overall. This is yet another event in she reigned supreme in regional age group waters for 2016 .This, as she took the CARIFTA title in the 400 metre individual medley in Martinique and later took the CISC title in The Bahamas in the summer.
The 100 yard breaststroke saw Albury bettering her season best of 1:03.99 when she clocked 1:02.81 (split time 29.19) for 25th overall.
When asked about her first SEC experience by draftingthecaribbean Albury had these thoughts
“It was an amazing experience representing the gamecocks at my first SEC Championships! I was happy to go best times in both my 200 Breaststroke and 400 IM, and had so much fun with my teammates. Mostly I was glad to be able to score some points for the team”.
The Gamecocks finished 9th in the women’s competition with 505,
Margaret Higgs of The Bahamas raised the profile of the CARIFTA region in age group swimming when she made the final of the 200 metre breaststroke event at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Hawaii on Saturday August 27.She was the only swimmer from the region to qualify for a Championship final at the 2016 edition of the age group meet which featured top swimmers from aquatic powerhouses The United States of America, Japan and Australia.
Coming into this competition Margaret already had a stellar season in the event as she won the 15-17 CARIFTA title in Martinique in Championship record and personal best of 2:35.33. Later in her home country she added the CISC (Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships) title, which she won in a time of 2:36.83, yet another Championship record. Based on her impressive CARIFTA record in the event, her feat should come as no surprise. Except when she made her debut at CARIFTA in 2011 when she won a Bronze medal Margaret has never lost.
Host Country & year
Younger sister Lilly also earned a second swim in the 200 metre breaststroke. Lilly who won the Silver medals in the 200 metre breaststroke at both CARIFTA and CISC in the 15-17 category posted 2:40.91 to place 16th overall in the morning heats. In the final she split 1:16.96 and 1:21.95 for a final time of 2:38.91, two seconds faster than in the morning.
Margaret placed 30th in the 200 metre individual medley in a time of 2:26.33 (split time 1:11.44). Lilly was 18th in 2:24.35 (split time 1:09.27).
Bahamian sisters Margaret and Lilly Higgs were the first swimmers to earn a second swim at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships on Friday August 25th in Hawaii. The sisters who have dominated the 100 breaststroke event regionally in the 15-17 category by sweeping Gold and Silver both at CARIFTA in Martinique and CISC (Caribbean Islands Swimming championships) in their home country. Lilly booked her spot with a 1:13.08 effort (split time 34.69) for 13th overall. Older sister Margaret qualified for another swim with a time of 1:13.79 (split time 34.70) .She placed 15th overall.
In the B final later that day Margaret would place 4th in a time of 1:13.65 (split time 34.83). She had this to say after her swim
“It is always an honour to represent the Bahamas, but this trip is really special since it’s the first time the Bahamas has sent a team to Junior Pan Pacs. It is a great feeling making history. My first event was the 100 breast, and although I didn’t go a best time, I came 4th in the B final swimming alongside my sister. I’m looking forward to my next two events on Saturday”
Her sister Lilly had splits of 35.22 and 38.91 to finish 6th in a time of 1:14.13. Speaking after that swim she said
I am proud to have had the opportunity to be on the first Bahamian team taken to Jr Pan Pacific Championships. Before my first event, the 200 free, I had a technical difficulty but still performed as well as I could. The 100 breaststroke was my second event. In the prelims I went one of the fastest times I’ve swam this season, enabling me to swim in the B final and place 6th.
Bermudan standout Madelyn Moore was 44th in the 100 metre freestyle in a time of 1:01.57.
The 6th day of swimming saw Mehdy Metella (French Guiana/France) becoming the fastest swimmer from the CARIFTA region with his heats swim in the 100 metre butterfly .Going out in 24.10 he came home in 27.61 to record a time of 51.71. That bettered the Gold medal winning time of 53.00 by Suriname’s Anthony Nesty done in 1988 Seoul Games. He would be just off that time in the semi-finals when he clocked 51.73 split time 24.17 to qualify for the final. He became the first swimmer to qualify for the 100 metre butterfly since Nesty accomplished that feat at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
Renzo Tjon A Joe became the fastest swimmer from Suriname ever at the Olympics when he clocked a national record of 22.23. With his placing of 21st he also became the highest placed swimmer from his country in the event. Renzo was just 0 .13 of a second outside of qualification for the semi finals. The previous Olympic best was 23.74 by Enrico Linscheer who placed 33rd at the 199s Barcelona Games. Enrico was the youngest athlete for Suriname at the Games being 17 years 283 days.
George Bovell III of Trinidad and Tobago was 27th with a time of 22.30. George remains the fastest swimmer ever from the region in the race with times of 21.77 done at the London 2012 Games and the 2008 Beijing Games.
Jordan Augier became the fastest swimmer from St Lucia with his time of 23.28. His placing of 45th also makes him the highest placed male swimmer from that nation. The fastest time and ranking was held by Jamie Peterkin who was 59th in the 2000 Sydney Games with a time of 25.33.
In the 800 metre freestyle Joanna Evans became the 3rd fastest swimmer from the region at the Olympics. Evans stopped the clock in 8:42.93 (split time 4:15.93) to finish 23rd overall. The overall record is held by Coralie Balmy with her time of 8:27.15 done at the London 2012 Games. The fastest English speaking time is held by Jamaica’s Janelle Atkinson who clocked 8:34.51 at the Sydney Games.
Nikolas Sylvester became the fastest swimmer from St Vincent and the Grenadines when he clocked 25.64 for 61st in the 50 metre freestyle . He bettered the time of 26.27 done by Tolga Akcayli at the 2012 Games.
Guyana’s Hannibal Gaskin clocked 58.57 in the 100 metre butterfly for 42nd place. That tied the best placing at the Olympics by a Guyanese swimmer at the Games. In 2012 Britney Van Lange placed 42nd in the 100 metre freestyle.
The 5th day of competition saw CARIFTA region bests being recorded.
In the 800 metre freestyle relay heats Coralie Balmy (Martinique/France) started the relay with a split of 1:57.38 (splits 57.51 and 59.87). That was the 5th fastest split of the morning session. It bettered her CARIFTA region best of 1:58.83 set earlier during the Games. The French team finished 10th with a time of 7:55.55.
The US Virgin Islands Rexford Tullius became the first swimmer from his country to compete in the 200 metre backstroke when he placed 20th in 1:59.14.That performance is a CARIFTA region best for the event. The previous standard was held by a team mate of Tullius at the University of Florida, Brett Fraser of the Cayman Islands. Fraser had stopped the clock in 2:01.17 at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Sprint Queen Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of The Bahamas just missed a semi-final berth in the 100 metre freestyle when she clocked 54.56 (splits 26.11 and 28.45). She was mere 6 100ths outside of 16th place. Arianna however still retains her title as the fastest female swimmer in this event at the Olympics. This is courtesy of the 53.73 that she registered at the London 2012 Games.
The 4th day of swimming action saw Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter set a new national record in the 100 metre freestyle of 48.80. Swimming in heat 4 Carter had a reaction time of 0.64. He covered the first 50 metres in 23.49 before finishing with a second 50 of 25.31 to take the heat win. That performance placed at 23rd overall and bettered the national record of George Bovell III who had set the national standard of 48.83 at the 2008 Beijing Games. Dylan is also now the 2nd fastest swimmer from the English speaking CARIFTA region at the Olympic Games. The fastest time registered at the Games is 48.54 by the Cayman Islands Brett Fraser at the 2012 London Games. The fastest performance from the CARIFTA region was recorded by Mehdy Metella (French Guiana/France) with his opening leg split of 48.08 of the 400 metre freestyle relay final.
Lorys Bourelly (Martinique/France) had a 3rd leg split of 1:48.62 to help France to 14th overall. The team’s final overall time was 7:13.71.