There were 16 members of the team who represented The Bahamas in swimming at the recently concluded 2022 Goodwill Games, and the squad managed to place fourth overall with 553 points.
Competition began on Friday and wrapped up on Sunday at the National Aquatics Center in Balmain, Couva, Trinidad and Tobago. It was the first time the Goodwill Games was held since 2019, as the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 and 2021 editions.
Placing first was the host country Trinidad and Tobago with 1,442 points. Jamaica scored 1,002 points for second and Barbados was third with 723 points.
In the medal count, The Bahamas finished with 52 total medals that included swimming away with a whopping 21 gold medals – the third most at the meet. They were also able to secure 17 silver and 14 bronze medals on the weekend.
Trinidad and Tobago ended with the most gold medals with 50, while Jamaica finished behind them with 33.
It was a strong improvement for The Bahamas who placed fifth at the last Goodwill Games with 414 points. The 19-member team that year had 32 medals that included five gold.
Bahamian Skyler Smith powered her way to win the 9-10 girls category high point award with 57 points. The 10-year-old won five individual gold medals in the seven races that she scored points in. She won the 200 meters (m) freestyle, 50m backstroke, 100m back, 100m butterfly and the 200m individual medley (IM). She won silver in the 100m free and placed fourth in the 50m fly.
Taylor Marchan from Trinidad and Tobago was second with 57 points. Jamaica’s Kia Alert was third with 42 points.
Bahamian Launy Duncombe captured the high point award in the 13-14 boys age category with 53 points. He edged Suriname’s Hasan Holtuin who scored 52 points. Duncombe won gold medals in the 50m free, 200m free and the 50m back. He picked up silver medals in the 50m fly and the 100m fly. The 14-year-old then picked up bronze medals in the 100m back and the 200m IM.
Scoring the third highest points in that age category was Trinidad and Tobago’s Quillon Leera with 44 points.
The Bahamas’ Christon Joseph missed out on the high point award by four points in the 9-10 boys category. He had to settle for second place with 62 points. He was able to secure three gold and five silver medals individually. He won the gold medal in the 50m free, 100m free and the 50m fly. The silver medals came from the 200m free, the 100m back, the 50m breast, the 100m breast and the 100m fly.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Kyle Leera was the high-point winner in that age category, scoring 65 points. Suriname’s Jairo Oldenstam was third with 55 points. The Bahamas’ Nitayo Knowles was fourth with 46 points.
The Bahamas was strong in the 9-10 boys age category as they were able to finish with the top three medal positions in some of the races. While they were all eligible for medals, only two were able to score points.
They were brilliant in the relays as they swept all three of the 9-10 boys relays. They won the 400m medley, the 400m free and the 200m free relays. All three of the relays featured Joseph, Knowles, Harold Simmons and Blake Comarcho.
Adaiah Smith was able to come away with the second most points in the 11-12 girls category. She scored 49 points and won five silver medals for The Bahamas. The silver medals came in the 50m free, the 100m free, the 200m free, the 50m fly and the 100m fly.
Winning the high point award in that age category was Trinidad and Tobago’s Netania Edwards who finished with 68 points. Edwards’ teammate, Harmoni Nelson, was third with 37 points.
Bianca Johnson scored 44 points to finish second in the 15-17 girls category. She won a gold medal in the 200m free and silver medals in the 100m free and the 200m free.
Winning that category was Jamaica’s Lia Forrester who scored 51 points. Her teammate Giani Francis was third with 41 points.
Making up the rest of Team Bahamas were Ayden Bain, Logan Comarcho, Angel Curry, Caellum Darville, Siann Isaacs, Rafael McBroom, Kristen Rolle and Cameron Walkes.
The head coach of the team was Shirley Mireault. The team manager was Celestial Darville and the chaperone was Therrell Smith.
Making a surprise appearance at the meet on Saturday was Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper. He greeted the team and presented medals during one of the medal presentation ceremonies.