Sunday 25 August, 2019

Carifta Swimming Championships: The night belonged to Zaneta Alvaranga

Zaneta Alvaranga celebrates with the Jamaican flag following her gold medal in the Girls' 13-14 50m butterfly final at the  Carifta Swimming Championships in Barbados on Sunday, April 21, 2019.

Zaneta Alvaranga celebrates with the Jamaican flag following her gold medal in the Girls' 13-14 50m butterfly final at the Carifta Swimming Championships in Barbados on Sunday, April 21, 2019.

Zaneta Alvaranga led a Jamaica domination on day two of the 2019 Carifta Swimming Championships at the Barbados Aquatic Centre on Sunday.

It was a day of medals, records, and excitement for Team Jamaica, which remained in second place behind The Bahamas in the medal table.

Jamaica will enter day three on Monday with 35 medals comprising 11 gold, 16 silver, and seven bronze.

Jamaica’s medal haul of 35 is five behind leaders The Bahamas, which have 39 medals comprising 18 gold, 11 silver, and 10 bronze.

Trinidad and Tobago hold down third place with 17 medals comprising eight gold, four silver, and five bronze.

The top performance again for Jamaica came from the Girls’ 13-14 age group. This time it was Alvaranga leading the way in the 50m butterfly with the gold medal in a championship record time of 27.84 to beat the previous mark of 27.94 seconds she set last year.

It was a one-two finish for Jamaica as Sabrina Lyn came home second for the silver medal, well behind in 29.13.  Bermudan swimmer Elan Daley, who broke Alvaranga’s Carifta 11-12 record in 2018 and is of Jamaican parentage, finished third for the bronze medal in 29.59.

The outstanding Alvaranga gave Team Jamaica and fans on hand a signal of what was to come in the final when she eased to a time of 28.32 seconds, the fastest female time of the morning heats regardless of age group.

Alvaranga’s 27.84 clocking in the final also represents a new personal best and national age group record. The time was also the fastest recorded by a female on the night. That performance stands as the second fastest time ever done at Carifta by a female as the 13-14 mark is held by Naele Portecop of Guadeloupe in 2018.  She set that mark in Kingston in an epic championship final with Alvaranga where both swimmers recorded sub-28-second times of 27.78 and 27.94 respectively for gold and silver.

Leanna Wainwright

Leanna Wainwright secured a second medal on her international debut for Jamaica by winning the Girls’ 11-12 100m backstroke gold medal in a personal best time of 1:11.65 to add to the bronze she won in the 50m backstroke on Saturday.

Wainwright's confidence from winning the bronze on Saturday carried over to the morning heats of the 100m backstroke. She topped the qualifiers with a morning effort and new personal best of 1:12.23.

In the evening,  the young Jamaican displayed that fearless attitude once again when she opened an early lead on the field heading into the turn. Displaying a level of determination well beyond her years, Wainwright held her nerve when the Cayman Islands Lila Higo made a late charge.  Higo had to settle for the silver medal in 1:11.76.  Bermuda’s Imojen Judd, the 50m backstroke champion, took the bronze medal in 1:12.84.  Wainwright’s countrywoman Giani Francis placed fourth in 1:13.41.

Wainwright won a third medal as she teamed up with Kokolo Foster (breaststroke), Giani Francis (butterfly) and Christanya Shirley (freestyle) to take gold in the Girls’ 11-12 400m medley relay.

The Jamaicans won in national and championship record of 4:49.77, which erased the old mark of  4:52.00 set by the quartet of  Gillian Stewart, Tamari Farquharson, Kheri Ann Robinson and Rene Wright at the 2002 games.

Bermuda took the silver medal in 4:52.93, while the Cayman Islands finished third for the bronze medal in 4:59.98.

Jamaica also secured two other girls’ relay gold medals. Those gold medals came in the 15-17 4x100m medley and the 13-14 4x100m medley.

In the Girls’ 13-14 4x100m medley, the quartet of Morgan Cogle, Sabrina Lyn, Zaneta Alvaranga and Safiya Officer won in 4:38.85 to give Jamaica their second consecutive gold in the event.  The Bahamas took the silver medal in 4:39.15, while Barbados finished third for the bronze medal in 4:41.99.

Cogle gave Jamaica a solid start with her backstroke split of 1:15.08.  Lyn recorded the fastest breaststroke split of her life of 1:15.23 to have Jamaica challenging for the lead. Alvaranga put Jamaica in gold medal position with her butterfly split of 1:04.23 to give Officer an insurmountable lead. Bahamian Delaney Mizell swam a good anchor leg but Officer had too much of an advantage.

In the 15-17 4x100m medley, the quartet of Simone Vale, Naomi Eaton, Emily MacDonald, and Britney Williams handed Jamaica the gold medal in a time of 4:36.83. Trinidad and Tobago finished second in 4:37.55, while Barbados came home third in 4:40.55.

Nathaniel Thomas

Jamaica’s boys’ teams secured two podium spots in the medley relays.

In the 13-14 4x100m medley relay,  Daniel Mair (freestyle) swam a lifetime best split of 56.42 to lead Jamaica to the bronze medal in 4:20.26 to beat fourth-place French Guiana by a mere .09 of a second.

The other members of Team Jamaica were Nathaniel Thomas (backstroke 103.73), Jaedon Lynch (breaststroke 1:14.77) and Jaleel Samms (1:05.34).

Team Trinidad and Tobago won the gold medal in 4:13.76, while The Bahamas finished second for the silver medal in 4:16.65.

In the 15-17 4x100m medley relay,  it was always going to be an uphill task against the mighty Bahamians who had the 100m backstroke champion in Davante Carey, Carifta record holder in the 100m breaststroke Izaak Bastian, 100m butterfly champion Ian Pinder and Kevon Lockhart.

The Bahamas, as expected, won the gold medal in a championship record of 3:54.32; while the Jamaican quartet of Nicholas Vale, Cameron Brown, Jordane Payne and Kyle Sinclair finished second for the silver medal in 4:02.69, just off the national record of 4:01.27.

Trinidad and Tobago finished third for the bronze medal in 4:04.48.

Brady MacPherson Lewison

Meanwhile, debutant Brady MacPherson Lewison secured a big victory in the Boys' 11-14 400m individual medley to create history for himself. He had won his first gold medal in a time of 5:30.63, a time drop of over 10 seconds. It was also the first time Jamaica had been on the podium in over two decades.

The fastest time recorded by a Jamaican male in the event was in 2010 when Kevaughn Campbell placed fourth in 5:37.89.

Cayman Islands' Wills Sellars (5:32.64) and Martinique's Matis Eustache (5:36.88) finished second and third.

Lewison had earlier secured the silver medal in the Boys' 11-12 100m backstroke in 1:09.90, just ahead thid-place Elijah Daley (1:09.95) of Bermuda. Marvin Johnson of The Bahamas easily won gold in 1:08.44. 

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