Bajan swimmers in medal rush
SEEMS ZABRINA HOLDER is capable of losing – just not enough to her opponents’ liking.
Barbados’ swimming sensation rebounded from her lone non-medal finish at the LIME CARIFTA Swimming Championships to win three more events, leading the hosts’ furious gold medal rush on Sunday night at the Aquatic Centre.
Holder’s three victories boosted the team’s gold medal tally to nine and Barbados’ overall haul to 25 – nine gold, nine silver and seven bronze – as the ultramarine and gold picked up 14 medals in an extremely eventful evening session.
So successful were the hosts’ exploits that at one point they even looked likely of grabbing podium finishes in every race, having medalled in each of the night’s first four races during a span that saw Barbados get seven medals in nine events.
This time it was Sariyah Sherry who started the medal flurry, capturing the 11-12 girls’ 200 freestyle – the night’s first race – in two minutes, 17.83 seconds. Teammate Hannah Gill (2:19.77) barely missed out on adding another medal in that race after finishing fourth.
But the night’s festivities were just starting as Alex Sobers followed that up with silver in the 11-12 boys’ equivalent right before Holder copped the first of her three golds.
Leading from pillar to post, Holder took the 13-14 girls’ four-lap freestyle event in 2:10.06, while fellow Barbadian Amara Gibbs held on for the bronze, sandwiching Aruba’s Daniella van den Berg.
Christian Selby then added bronze in the 13-14 boys’ equivalent before Lani Cabrera and Lee-Ann Rose just failed to extend Barbados’ streak to five straight races with a medal when they came fourth and fifth respectively in the girls’ 15-17 version.
It didn’t take long for Holder to get back in the action though, as the prolific 14-year-old barely held off the Bahamas’ strong finishing Taryn Smith just four races later to lower her own mark in the 50-metre butterfly to 29.64 seconds.All this was after the dynamic teen titan had a less than satisfactory morning session that led to a sub-par 5:22.84 clocking in the 400 IM, which only gave her fourth place overall after Gibbs copped silver in that event.
However, Holder went on to close out the night with a second three-gold performance in as many days after combining with Gibbs, Deandre Small and Inayah Sherry to win the 400 medley relay in a record time of 4:40.03.
Gibbs personally accounted for the last of Barbados’ five gold medals on Sunday, having won the 100-metre backstroke in 1:08.72 ahead of Trinidad’s Kristin Julien and the bronze medal-winning Small (1:11.15).
Sariyah Sherry finished her night with a silver and bronze medal in the 50-metre butterfly and 100 backstroke respectively, while Sobers copped another silver in the 400 IM.
Lani Cabrera won Barbados’ fifth silver just moments later in the 15-17 girls’ equivalent by clocking 5:14.52.
Trinidadian Dylan Carter broke two more records to take his tally to four in two nights, posting a 59.63 time in the boys’ 13-14 100 metre backstroke before anchoring his 400 metre medley team in a victorious 4:12.25 clocking Jamaican Kendese Nangle set a new record of 1:06.00 in the 15-17 girls’ 100 backstroke and Aruba’s 11-12 boys’ team lowered the 400 IM mark to 4:39.86.
Barbados’ nine gold medals lead the 14-team pack while their 25 medals trail only Guadeloupe’s 30 and Trinidad’s 28. Barbados are fourth in the points table with 291, behind Guadeloupe (392), Trinidad (372) and Bahamas (304).