One day after making history as the first Bahamian to advance to the final of the men’s 50 meters (m) freestyle at the Commonwealth Games, Lamar Taylor was in action in that final and came away with a seventh place finish at the Sandwell
Aquatics Center in Londonberry, Smethwick, England. Taylor wrapped up the swimming portion for The Bahamas at the games on Wednesday.
Taylor powered his way to touch the wall in 22.51 seconds, placing seventh. It was a slower time than he swam in the semifinals, but a strong swim for the Bahamian regardless. Taylor posted a time of 22.45 seconds in the semis.
Donald Thomas, Shaun Miller Jr., and TyNia Gaither also competed in their respective finals yesterday, taking part in athletics at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, England. Thomas was fourth in the men’s high jump, Miller was 10th in that same event, and Gaither finished seventh in the women’s 100m. Also competing on the track was Alonzo Russell, moving on to the semifinals of the men’s 400m.
In swimming, England took the gold and silver in the men’s 50m free with Benjamin Proud winning in 21.36 seconds and Lewis Burras taking the silver in 21.68 seconds. Rounding out the top three was Canada’s Joshua Edwards who swam 22.02 seconds to secure the bronze medal.
Taylor said he was proud of his performance, having made the men’s 50m free final at age 19.
“Making the final, especially in the 50m free, is exhilarating because when you look at it, at the bigger picture, it’s not a regular final. I was one of the top eight swimmers in the Commonwealth. To swim and be able to execute under pressure is a proud moment for myself. I know that everyone back home is proud of me,” Taylor said.
Taylor swam five individual races and both of the relay races at this edition of the Commonwealth Games.
“My performance at this meet overall was exceptionally well,” Taylor said. “I did not come into this meet with any time or goal set in my mind but I knew I wanted to have fun. I know this was a great opportunity for me to show out and have good placements. I just wanted to swim personal best times. I was only focused on swimming my best.”
Going forward, Taylor said he knows he has a lot to learn and he will change a lot of things in the next couple of months. After this, he will be preparing for his junior year at Henderson State University.
In athletics, Thomas barely missed out on a podium finish when he cleared 2.22m (7’ 3-1/4”) to place fourth in the men’s high jump final last night. Also jumping in that event was Shaun Miller Jr. He finished 10th overall after clearing 2.10m (6’ 10-3/4”).
Winning the high jump was New Zealand’s Hamish Kerr with a height of 2.25m (7’ 4-1/2”). Australian Brandon Starc was second as he cleared the same height as Kerr but had more knockdowns. Securing the bronze medal was India’s Tejaswin Shankar who cleared 2.22m. He prevailed on a countback over Thomas.
Gaither made the final in the women’s 100m after sprinting to a time of 11.17 seconds in the semis. In the final, Gaither placed seventh, clocking 11.23 seconds into a slight tailwind. Winning that race was two-time Olympic gold medalist in this event, Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah in 10.95 seconds. St. Lucian Julien Alfred got the silver, running 11.01 seconds. England’s Daryll Neita crossed the finish line in 11.07 seconds for the bronze medal.
Russell did enough to book a spot in the semifinals of the men’s 400m, running the one-lapper in 46.41 seconds. He placed third in heat five and ran the 15th fastest time overall. Zambia’s Muzala Samukonga ran a personal best of 44.89 seconds to win that heat.
The men’s 400m semifinals will take place tomorrow night.
Today, Gaither and Denisha Cartwright will compete in the women’s 200m, Kendrick Thompson will get his competition started in the men’s decathlon and LaQuan Nairn will compete in the men’s long jump final. In cycling, Felix Neely and Lorin Sawyer will compete in the men’s individual time trial.