Rhanishka Gibbs and Lilly Higgs.
Luke-Kennedy Thompson, Izaak Bastian.
#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#BIRMINGHAM, England — Back for her second semi-final swim at the Sandwell Aquatic Center at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Lilly Higgs moved up to a 15th place finish after she got another eighth place in her heat of the women’s 100 metre breaststroke last night.
#“It was pretty good,” said Higgs after her clocking of one minute and 12.97 seconds. “Sometimes the night swim hurts more and sometimes it’s a lot better, so I was right around the time I was this morning, so that was the goal.
#“I would have liked to be a little faster, but just getting out there and swimming and having the feeling of being in a semi-final, I’m pretty satisfied with it. It’s been a great meet. I really didn’t know what to expect coming in here after competing at the World Championships and the Nationals, so I’m really happy with everything.”
#The 21-year-old Higgs, who was the co-national flag carrier with Izaak Bastian during the opening ceremonies on Thursday night, earned the rights to get in the evening swim after she finished 16th overall in the heats in 1:12.67 during the morning session.
Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson, Katelyn Cabral.
#She swum in the same heat in lane two with fellow Bahamian Rhanishka Gibbs in lane one.
#“I guess 16 is my number in this meet,” said Higgs, who also finished as the 16th and final qualifier for the 50m breaststroke on day one of the swim competition on Friday. “It was good to have another swim.
#“It’s amazing swimming against these elite athletes and world record holders and Olympic and World Championship medallists. It’s kind of funny just being in the call room and you realise in chatting with them that you are all the same. So it’s been a great meet making my second semi-finals.”
Davante Carey and Lamar Taylor.
#Higgs was even more honoured to share the same heat with Gibbs, who had to settle for 43rd in 1:01.74.
#“She just got back from doing the 100m and now we have the 100m breast, so my advice to her was to just go out there and have some fun and enjoy the experience,” Higgs said. “I think it’s really important for her to get some racing under her belt. It’s been a great meet for her, so just wanted to show her the ropes.”
#For Gibbs, she’s just elated to be competing in her first global competition. “It wasn’t the time I expected, but I’m still happy that I got to compete. I know what I have to work on and what I have to improve on,” said Gibbs, the youngest member of the Bahamas swim team at age 16.
#The Queen’s College 12th grader said she was also thrilled to have the opportunity to race with and against Higgs, one of her mentors.
#“I’ve always really looked up to her. I always wanted to race against her because I never got the chance at home. I really got it here, so it was really good,” Gibbs added. “It was a good opportunity and I really enjoyed it.”
#Not only did Gibbs get to compete against Higgs, but she noted that she got to get prepared to face a lot of the top competitors in the world, which has certainly boosted her confidence here.
#She competed earlier in the day in the 100m freestyle where she was sixth in her heat in 1:01.74 for 43rd place.
#“My race was pretty good. I executed the race very well and it was a good swim,” she said. “I feel pretty good getting up and racing against these world class swimmers at my age. I think this meet will help to prepare for my future meets. I hope to be back at the next competition to represent the Bahamas.”
#Gibbs also had some consolation with her parents, Tonya and Randy Gibbs, in the stands. She noted that it’s the kind of support that every swimmer needs, especially when they are making their first international competition like she did.
#Also competing in that event was 18-year-old Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson, who got fourth in her heat in 1:00.60 for 34th overall.
#“It was alright. It wasn’t my best time, but I’m just happy that I was able to compete in this meet,” she said. “I think I gained a lot of exposure competing against all of these top-notch competitors, so I’m going to go back to training and hopefully will be ready when the next international competition comes around.”
#Thompson’s brother Luke-Kennedy Thompson also got some extra spotlight when he touched the wall first in his heat of the men’s 50m breaststroke in 29.30. He turned it on in the final 10-15m to get the win, but he ended up 24th overall.
#“It was a good comeback. It wasn’t my best time, but I gave it my best effort,” he said. “I’m just happy to be here and to have this opportunity to swim at this level of competition. It was just awesome.”
#Thompson noted that he got best times in both the 200 and 400m freestyles and so he felt he made his family, including his little sister, Zaylie-Elizabeth, and the Bahamian public very proud of his efforts.
#The event also featured Izaak Bastian, the co-national flag carrier during the opening ceremonies on Thursday night. He followed Thompson in heat four with a fifth place in 28.74 and 24th overall.
#“It wasn’t great, but you learn from every swim, good or bad,” Bastian said. “I learned a little today. I was definitely disappointed, but it is the nature of sports. It wasn’t my best meet, but I tried my best. I tried to show my team-mates how things are done, although I didn’t perform at my best.”
#As this was his final individual event for the meet, Bastian thanked his parents Rochelle and Darren Bastian, as well as his brother, Drew, who made the trip to England to support him and the rest of Team Bahamas.
#Bastian, who has completed his collegiate eligibility at Florida State University, said they have always been there supporting him and so he expected the same courtesy here in Birmingham.
#Davante Carey, coming off his national record breaking performance in the men’s 50m on Sunday, had to settle for third place in his heat of the 100m butterfly in 56.58 for 25th place overall.
#“Obviously it feels good emotionally to get the national record, but on the physical side, you have to do so much to recover to come back and compete so early in the morning,” Carey said. “I haven’t been training for any fly events, so it wasn’t in my spectrum, but I don’t want to use any excuses.”
#Carey, preparing for his senior year at McKendree University, will close out his individual appearance here at the games when he competes in the heats of the 200m backstroke.
#And Katelyn Cabral, in getting things started for Team Bahamas during the morning session, was sixth in her heat of the women’s 200m backstroke in 2:33.19 for 12th place overall.
#“It felt pretty good. I actually put all I had into it and I definitely don’t have anything left,” Cabral said. “The goal for me in this meet was to get top 12 for the Bahamas. I gave it all I could.”
#It was mission accomplished for Cabral.
#• Here’s a look at Team Bahamas’ performances on day four yesterday:
- #Katelyn Cabral, 12th in the women’s 200m backstroke in 2:33.19..
- #Izaak Bastian, 20th in the men’s 50m breaststroke in 28.74.
- #Luke-Kennedy Thompson, 24th in the men’s 50m breaststroke in 29.30.
- #Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson, 34th in the women’s 100m freestyle in 1:00.60.
#Rhanishka Gibbs, 43rd in the women’s 100m freestyle in 1:01.74.
#Davante Carey, 25th in the men’s 100m butterfly in 56.58.
#Lilly Higgs, 16th in the women’s 100m breaststroke in 1:12.67 to qualify for the semi-finals.
#Rhanishka Gibbs, 23rd in the women’s 100m breaststroke in 1:18.44.
#Lilly Higgs, 16th in the women’s 100m breaststroke semi-final in 1:12.97.
#Left to compete today as the swimming competition is completed are the following:
#– Davante Carey in the heats of the men’s 200m backstroke.
#– Lamar Taylor in the heats of the men’s 50m freestyle.
#– Katelyn Cabral in the heats of the women’s 50m backstroke.
#– Mixed 4 x 100m medley relay team.