FIVE-PEAT: Bahamas CARIFTA swimming champions

FIVE STRAIGHT - The Bahamas’ 36-member team won their fifth consecutive championship title at he CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Curacao.

FIVE STRAIGHT – The Bahamas’ 36-member team won their fifth consecutive championship title at he CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Curacao.

As of Tuesday, April 11, 2023


#Senior Sports Reporter

#Mission accomplished.

#The Bahamas’ 36-member team to the CARIFTA Swim Championships in Curacao returned home with their fifth consecutive championship title and a pair of recordbreaking performances from two of the four co-team captains Rhanishka Gibbs and Nigel Forbes.

#In producing its best ever performance, Team Bahamas collected a total of 85 medals and accumulated 1,113 points to literally dominate the four days of competition as they celebrated and look forward to a six-peat when the championships is staged in the Bahamas at the Betty Kelly Kenning Swim Complex in 2024.

#In their 85 medal package, Team Bahamas unwrapped 37 gold, 27 silver and 21 bronze, 32 more than their nearest rivals, Cayman Islands, who got second with 25 gold, 16 silver and 12 bronze for their total of 54, while Trinidad & Tobago rounded out the top three with 22 gold, 16 silver and 16 bronze for their total of 54. With their 1,113 points, Team Bahamas out-distanced the Cayman Islands by 361 points as they trailed with 752. Trinidad & Tobago completed the top three with 534.

#Bahamas Aquatics’ president Algernon Cargill had nothing but praise for the team.

#“The team’s performances were outstanding. The swimmers all fought hard, responded to the call and acted as the defending champions,” Cargill said. “We are appreciative of all the support we have received from home and far away and the support of our sponsors, inclusive of the BOC and the government of the Bahamas.

#“For next year, we will be going after anther title at home. We don’t expect the team’s dynamics to change too much and we are confident of winning again.”

#Coach Travano McPhee called it a dominating performance that all those in attendance and supporting the athletes in Curacao were very proud off.

#“These swimmers made history again becoming the five-peat champions and showed they are the best CARIFTA swim team in the history of these games,” McPhee said. “The 85 medals is the most medals ever brought home and most points scored, speaks for itself. This is, if not, the best team we have ever had, it’s definitely one of the best.”

#According to McPhee, the strengths were in the 11-12 age groups, adding that they didn’t show any weaknesses

#“The plan was executed from day one,” he proclaimed. “The plan for next year is to win these games for a sixth straight tome and what other way to do it than in the front of a loud and supportive crowd,” McPhee said. “I encourage all Bahamians to come out and support our great athletes as the Bahamas will host the 2024 CARIFTA Games.”

#Gibbs, in breaking one of the two games’ records in the girls 15-17 50m breaststroke in 32.88 seconds as she led by example.

#“My performances weren’t really well. They weren’t what I expected, but it’s all about the process,” said Gibbs, who brought some experience as a member of last year’s Commonwealth Games team in Birmingham, England. “This just tells me what I need to do as I back home and work harder. I will come back stronger next year.”

#As for Team Bahamas, Gibbs said the entire team’s performance was amazing.

#“They came out, they worked really hard for it and they got what they deserved. I am extremely proud of them,” she summed up.

#Forbes, a native of Grand Bahama, established the other CARIFTA record in the boys 15-17 100m butterfly in 54.73. It was one of two gold medals for Forbes, who picked up the other in the 200m IM in 2:06.72.

#He also secured a bronze in the 50m butterfly in 25.08.

#One of the workhorses for Team Bahamas was Saleste Gibson, representing the girls 11-12 100m division. She powered her way to seven gold medals in the 100m butterfly in 1:09.11; 200m freestyle in 2:20.49; 50m butterfly in 30.02; 400m freestyle in 5:06.29; 50m freestyle in 28.69; 200m individual medley (IM) in 2:43.24 and 100m freestyle in 1:03.23.

#She lost her only race in the 200m butterfly where her time of 2:55.18 placed her in the silver medal spot behind her team-mate and gold medalist Skyler Smith, who touched the wall first in 2:51.60.

#“My performances were a little bit of what I expected. I wasn’t expecting to do as well as I did and so I was really surprised at my outcome, but I worked very hard to achieve this outcome,” she stated.

#She wrapped up her performance by carting off the high point award for her age group, something she admitted that she was thrilled to receive.

#“I was very surprised and I was filled with excitement and joy when I got that award,” she added.

#On the other side of the coin, David Singh, competing in the boys’ 11-12 division, captured six gold and a pair of silver medals. His gold medal haul came in the 50m backstroke in 31.15; 400m IM in 5:24.80; 400m freestyle in 4:46.23; 400m freestyle in 4:46.23; 200m IM in 2:29.75; 50m breaststroke in 34.63 and 100m breaststroke in 1:16.03.

#Singh also had to settle for a pair of silver in the 100m backstroke in 1:08.99 and the 200m backstroke in 2:35.65.

Start a Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *