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 most well traveled junior swimmer for the calendar year 2018 Emily MacDonald of the Bolles School was in yet another high level meet as she competed in the prestigious Florida high school 1A State championships. Emily’s itinerary for 2018 included the UANA championships in Coral Springs Florida, CARIFTA in Jamaica, CCCAN Championships in Aruba, the CAC Games in Colombia and the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina The State Championships which were held on Saturday November 16 at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart Florida saw Emily winning her first State Championships title in the 200 yard medley relay as well as Silver in the 200 yard freestyle relay. Along with those medal performances she recorded personal best times in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events on her way to making the Championship finals in those races.
The evening’s final began on the best possible note for Emily as the Bolles School Sharks team of Faith Khoo backstroke 26.11, Carly Schwab breaststroke 28.74, Sasha Ramey butterfly 25.22 and MacDonald 23.43 recorded a total team time of 1:43.50 to capture the Gold. Silver went to the Saint Andrews School in 1:44.97 and the Bronze to Pine Crest in 1:45.29.This is the first medley relay title at the 1A State Championships since St Lucia’s Olympian Danielle Beaubrun who swam the breaststroke leg on the 2007 Bolles team.
Next up was the 50 yard freestyle final. Emily had qualified for the Championship by lowering her personal best in the race from 23.76 to 23.70. She would be even faster in the final as she posted another personal best of 23.68 to place 5th. This is an improvement from 2017 where she had placed eighth.
The race won by Chade Nercisio of the Trinity Christian School in 22.66. Chade who is from Curacao is the reigning CARIFTA 15-17 50 metre champion while Emily is the reigning champion in the 13-14 age group.
In the heats of the 100 yard freestyle Emily recorded her first sub 52 seconds time performance when she registered 51.67 (split time 25.01) to make the A final. That would be the second time she has made the Championship final in the event after making her debut in 2017. In the final she would place eighth in 52.71.
The 200 yard yard freestyle relay saw MacDonald leading off the Bolles team in a time of 23.86 in the final faster than the 23.91 she did in 2017. Her fellow Sharks Ramsey, Adair Sand and Megan McGrath contributed splits of 23.71,23.35 and 23.47 to help the team to a Silver medal winning time of 1:34.39. That performance betters the Bronze medal performance of 2017 .It is also the fastest time by the Bolles Sharks in the final since 2014.
MacDonald who started the Championships with 1 career medal at States now has 3. When draftingthecaribbean contacted Emily on November 18 she had the following thoughts about her Championship performances
” I was very pleased with my performances at this year’ State Championships. I bettered my 50 free and 100 free times. My 50 free time is now 23.68 and 100 free is 51.67.I am very pleased because it means because I am a lot fitter than last year because in 2017 I was doing 52 in the 100 free and 23 high in the 50 free.My time shows that I can do a lot better in long course season when it comes and do a lot better overall for the season”
The Bolles School won the girls division with 381 points.Second went to Pine Crest with 303 points and third to Saint Andrew’s with 244 points.
The final day of competition at the CCCAN swimming Championships in Aruba on July 2 saw Team Jamaica adding Two Gold, Three Silver and Three Bronze medals.
The highlight of the day was Emily MacDonald who completed the freestyle sprint double .A day after she completed the record regional Golden Double (CARIFTA and CCCAN titles) in the 100 metre freestyle she did the same in the 50 metre freestyle. She took the race in a time of 26.48 a new PB, CCCAN and CARIFTA all time best.It was a mere .03 of a second outside of the automatic Youth Olympic qualifying mark of 26.45.
This makes her unbeaten for the 13-14 age group at CCCAN as she took the title in Trinidad and Tobago as well last year in 27.20. In April of this year in her hometown of Kingston she won the splash and dash in a time of 26.76 lowering the record of 26.81 held by Bermudan Madelyn Moore. In Aruba she would take down another Moore standard of 26.65 , the unofficial all time regional record. Emily has been Golden in all but one meet at the regional level since 2016.
26.48 record 26.65
MacDonald had the second fastest time of the competition. That accolade went to none other than Madelyn Moore who lowered the 15-17 meet of 26.13 by Suriname’s Olympian Chinyere Pigot (Beijing 2008 and London 2012) when she stopped the clock in 25.97.
Silver went to Bermuda’s Logan Watson -Brown in 27.24 and the Bronze to Aruba Chloe Farro 27.67.
When draftingthecaribbean spoke to Emily she gave her thoughts on her performances
“I’m very happy about winning events in the meet for my age group and breaking Championship record for both events .It gives me the assurance that I have the potential to be a great sprinter”.
There would almost be another regional record Golden Double in the 400 metre medley relay as the team of Simone Vale, Sabrina Lyn, MacDonald and Amore Hunter just missed the CCCAN record of 4:34.23 held by the 2005 Mexico team and their own national age group record of 4:33.81 when they won Gold in 4:34.48.Silver went to Colombia in 4:38.89 and Bronze to Aruba in 4:52.40.
butterfly Zaneta Alvaranga
There would be another national record for Morgan Cogle in the 11-12 200 metre backstroke.She lowered the 2007 Kendese Nangle record of 2:36.00 set at CCCAN 2007 in El Salvador in the morning heats with a time of 2:35.21. She would go on to win Bronze in the final in 2:35.29. Jillian Crooks of the Cayman Islands took the Silver in 2:33.98 with Gold going to Elizabeth Jimenez Garrido of the Dominican Republic in 2:33.23.
In the 400 medley relay Cogle backstroke ,Brooke Hopkins breaststroke ,Ireland Hunter butterfly and Safiya Officer won the Silver in a new national age group record of 4:56.06. That bettered the old 2007 record of 4:58.67 set in by the 2007 CARIFTA team Brittany Kenney, Kendese Nangle, Raynae Hall and Alexia Royal-Eatmon.
COMPARISON OF TIMES
Gold went to Trinidad and Tobago in 4:51.10 and the Bronze to Barbados in 5:06.93.
In the 15-17 Girls 50 metre freestyle it was Gabrianna Banks getting the medal for Team Jamaica . She stopped the clock in a new PB of 26.69 for the Silver. The performance marks consecutive Silver medals for Banks who won Silver in her last year of 13-14 in the twin island republic last year in 27.28. The Bronze went to Victoria Russell of The Bahamas in a new PB of 26.93. This is the first medal for Jamaica in 2017 since Breanna Roman won Bronze in 27.59 at CCCAN 2011 in Puerto Rico.
There would be a Bronze for Nathaniel Thomas in the 13-14 age group in the 50 metre freestyle as his effort was timed in a PB of 25.33. This is a step up from his performance at CARIFTA where he placed ninth in 26.19. Silver went to Malik Nelson of Trinidad and Tobago in 24.50. Gold went to the fastest 13-14 swimmer of the season Lamar Taylor of The Bahamas who won in a new CCCAN record of 23.94 to add to his CARIFTA title which he won in 24.27 and as well as National title in 23.79.
There would be Bronze for Safiya Officer in the girls 11-12 race she touched in 27.71.Silver went to St Lucia’s Naima Hazell in 27.61 .
The Gold went to the Cayman Islands Jillian Crooks who lowered the 1995 meet standard of 27.55 set by Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympian Cerian Gibbes who went to the Atlanta 1996 Games as a 13 year old.
The 11-12 boys 400 metre medley relay team won Silver . The team of Daniel Mair (backstroke) 1:16.61,brother Joshua (breaststroke)1:20.15 ,Jaedon Lynch( butterfly) ( 1:10.15) and Adrian Balfour (freestyle) 1:01.55 touched in 4:48.55 to finish behind the Trinidad and Tobago team that won in 4:41.05.the Bronze was won by Aruba in 4:53.76.
The 15-17 boys won the Bronze in their medley relay. The team of Nicholas Vale (backstroke) 1:01.47 ,Sean-Douglas Gooden (breaststroke) 1:09.48 ,Jesse Marsh (butterfly) 56.91 and Cameron Brown (freestyle) 55.86 touched in 4:03.72. Gold was won by The Bahamas in 3:59.57 and the Silver to Trinidad and Tobago in 4:01.63.
In 2017 St Lucia’s Naima Hazell ended a more than decade long 11-12 50 metre breaststroke medal drought for her country when she won Bronze in the 50 metre breaststroke . The last time St Lucia was on the medal podium was through the efforts of Sara George when she took the Silver in 38.42 at the 2005 CARIFTA Championships in Curacao.She would keep the medal winning streak alive and match the quality of Sara’s medal with a Silver medal winning and a new age group record of 35.87.
In the 50 metre freestyle she showed showed great improvement by moving from 18th in 2017 to winning another Silver in a time of 27.87 a new age group national record and not far off from the senior national record of 27.63.
In 2017 Team St Lucia won four medals in The Bahamas Two Silver and Two Bronze medals. In Kingston they earned five medals Three Silver and Two Bronze medals,
When draftingthecaribbean contacted Naima she spoke to us about training before CARIFTA, if she knew what the senior record was before and gave us a description of her two medal winning efforts.
“My coaches started off with a plan which included morning training session and dryland session to compliment my afternoon training however we were faced with the a setback where the facility that we trained at had to be closed for about 1 month due to a leakage in the pool which had to be repaired. We used the beach and the Pool at a hotel for our training until we were able to return to the Aquatic Centre. Overall the training was difficult especially the early mornings however I knew it was necessary in order for me to be prepared especially since we do not have a 50m facility.To be honest I was not aware of what the Senior National record was. My goal is always to perform better at every meet and to PB. I also had high hopes of medalling.I was focused for both of my races. I knew I had to work hard if I had any chance of medalling. My 50 M breaststroke, I went in with the aim of getting that goal medal, however I had a bad breakout and this cost me the gold medal, I had to work extremely hard to catch up with the other swimmers to capture the silver medal. For my 50 freestyle I believe I had a very good swim and my execution was good. I kept my head down and did limited breathing until I touched that wall. My aim was to swim faster than the prelims.
In her plans for the rest of the year
The other major meets for this are as follow:
BASA Invitational in May
CCCAN Swimming Championships in June
OECS swimming Championships in November
ASATT in December
My goals for the 50 M freestyle and 50 M Breaststroke for the CCCAN championships is to PB and hopefully medal for my country and ASATT to work hard to break the existing records in both events.
Draftingthecaribbean also spoke to the President of the St Lucian Amateur Swimming Association Mr Eddie Hazell (who is her father) about her improvement since 2017
It’s a few things but namely it’s the added time in the pool, she is a bit more focused and with the added time she is building endurance and strength. The extra time In the pool makes the difference because now you could complete herworkout that we’ve been wanting to have. Before we work trying to fit that same workout in 1 hr and it just wasn’t feasible. But now we have the sufficient time so she could rest when needed and we’re able to get more meters in during the wk
He also commented on progress has been made in terms of the quality of the performances and new age group records what has accounted for the overall St Lucian progress and what formal plans are in place to direct these talented athletes towards Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
Since assuming office, my executive has taken a holistic approach towards the development of the sport. Currently we are working on providing our locally based national swimmers with opportunities to train in a 50m facility in neighboring Martinique. We are hoping to do so on a fortnightly basis. This is in addition to them following their club regiment of training. We have recognized that our swimmers needed to be exposed to both types of facilities. A rigorous dry land programme can also be held accountable for their success and will be stepped up in the long run. Strengthening our institutional framework is allowing us to provide a better balance between our learn to swim and competitive programmes. Our International governing body has made funding available for some of our initiatives. This will be filtered down to both the club and national programmes. Pool time and costs of training are critical issues which we are engaging all stake holders to find the best possible solutions. The quality of our coaches is also being addressed by affording them the opportunity to upgrade their skills using FINA sponsored clinics. We are also in talks with our French counterparts to assist us in this regard. We will continue to engage all stakeholders in an effort to improve the swimming product coming out of St. Lucia.
The British University and Colleges Short Course Championships held at Ponds Forge in Sheffield from November 10 to 12 saw Jamaica’s Michael Gunning lowering national marks in the freestyle and butterfly events.
Gunning would not be the only regional competitor at the meet. Strasser Sankar from Trinidad and Tobago as well as Gunning would lead the region with 4th places performances at the Championships.
The meet which was swum in a 25 metre pool saw the Graduate student who competes for Nottingham Trent University earning a second swim in the 50 metre freestyle when he clocked 22.31.
Sankar, who is reading for Masters in Sport Science, returned in the evening he posted a slightly faster time of 22.30 to place 4th overall in a tie with Jack Thorpe from Edinburgh. Sankar was marginally outside a podium spot as Sam Irvine of Loughborough won the Bronze in 22.28.Calum Bain of Stirling won the Silver in 22.04 and Gold went David Cumberlidge of Heriott –Watt in 21.51. The 26 year old would contest only the heats of the 50 metre breaststroke where he recorded a time of 28.91.
St Lucia’s 2017 World Championship representative Jean-Luc Zephir earned a second swim as well in the 50 metre freestyle. In the morning Jean-Luc clocked 23.09 to earn a spot in the B final. That final saw the Plymouth Marjon University student bettering his preliminary time with a 23.02 clocking that earned 4th .He would place 16th in the 100 freestyle with a time of 51.11 (split time 24.62).The 200 metre freestyle saw Zephir with a 24th ranking after recording a time of 1:53.62 (split time 53.62).
The Cayman Islands Iain McCallum would also earn a second swim competing in the 50 metre butterfly. The 20 year Edinburgh student would be timed at 25.30 in the morning heats. In the B final he would place 5th in a time of 25.15.He would place 30th in the 200 metre butterfly in a time of 2:11.86 (split time 1:02.96).
Mathew Courtis of Barbados had a top finish of 14th in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:40.19 (split time 2:15.51). The Cambridge Graduate student would also compete in the 100 and 200 metre butterfly and 200 metre individual medley.
100 scm butterfly
200 scm butterfly
200 scm IM
Guyanese Olympian Hannibal Gaskin (Rio 2016) had a top performance of 30th in the 50 metre butterfly with a time of 25.83. The Exeter student also placed 45th in the 100 metre butterfly with a time of 58.43 (split time 27.38).
Two years ago at the 2015 World Junior Swimming Championships in Singapore Aruba’s Patrick Groters was 44th in a time of 59.88. Fast forward two years a much improved Groters crushed that time and placing with a good performance in Indianapolis today.
Patrick, who holds the 15-17 CARIFTA record and Aruban national record with a time of 57.17 bettered that time with a 57.01 clocking. That time placed him 17th overall. The top 16th time was 56.75. Mere 26th hundredths from a second swim Patrick earned the accolade of being the top CCCAN swimmer at the Global Championships.
Analysis of Groters swims in 2015 and 2017
CCCAN Champion in the 15-17 Jack Kirby of Barbados produced yet another sub 58 seconds clocking to win heat 4 convincingly in 57.63 (split time 28.27).That performance placed him 23rd overall and second overall from the CCCAN region
On July 29 Mikaili Charlemagne of St Lucia recorded the fastest time by a St Lucian woman at the World championships when she stopped the clock in a time of 28.26 to place 60th overall. That bettered the previous best time of 28.59 recorded by Siona Huxley at the 2009 Rome World Championships.
Draftingthecaribbean got her reaction to her swim on Sunday July 31.
“Although the outcome of the 50 freestyle was not what l expected I had fun and enjoyed racing. From looking at the heat that I was seeded in I knew that the competition would be stiff. From the start I broke out with my head down trying to go for my goal time. I was disappointed that I did not make my best time but this race was motivation for me to train hard to be able to do better the next time I swim”.
On Thursday July 27 Mikaili became the first St Lucian woman to contest the 100 metre freestyle. In that race she posted a time of 1:02.59 to finish 66th. She gave draftingthecaribbean her impressions of competing at her first senior international competition
“This meet has been a wonderful experience for me thus far. It all started with me seeing the competition pool, that alone was motivation for me to swim to the best of my ability. Another thing that motivated me was seeing world class athletes like Katinka Hosszu, Katie Ledecky, Adam Peaty and Simone Manuel swim before me. The days leading up to my first event I started to warm up in the competition pool and that also helped me get a better feel of the type of competition that I was about to go up against. I also started to visualize my race days before. I think visualizing my race was one of the factors that helped me perform how I did. When the morning of my race came I was a bit nervous. Going down to the call room was a totally new experience because I had never been to a call room like that before. Going to the call room was also a little intimidating for me because there were so many girl tapping themselves to keep their muscles warm. Thankfully I was able to block out that sound and focus on my race. I felt that I had a wonderful race and during the race I felt energized and happy although I was nervous. I am just so happy that I did a PB (personal best time) and made my country proud. I am looking forward to my next race and many other meets like this to come”.