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Mc Leod, Romany, Julien add more gold
Joshua Mc Leod (two), Joshua Romany and Kristin Julien all bagged gold medals as T&T continued its impressive showing on the second night of finals at the 27th Central American and Caribbean Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Championships in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico on Tuesday night. In addition to the four gold medals, the T&T swimmers also collected three silver and two bronze to take its two-day haul to 19 (nine gold, six silver and four bronze). First up the FINA World Long Course Championship (Shanghai)-bound 20-year-old Mc Leod was the 18 & Over boys’ 50 metres butterfly where he touched the wall in a golden time of 24.43 seconds ahead of Suriname’s Marcelino Richaards (25.15) and another T&T and his young sibling Abraham Mc Leod (25.42).
It was the second time on the day Mc Leod (J) had eclipsed the event record after he clocked 24.73 in the morning heats to lower Venezuela’s Jesus Casanova 2009 mark of 25.33 before he improved on his own new mark. Mc Leod, who along with Cherelle Thompson and Olympic bronze medallist George Bovell III will represent T&T in Shanghai, China next month added another gold on the night in the 100 metres freestyle in a personal best time of 51.23 followed by fellow T&T swimmer, Caryle Blondell (51.99) and Puerto Rican, Raul Martinez (52.19). In this his first year of the 15-17 boys’ age-group, Romany splashed to gold in the 50 metres freestyle in a blistering personal best 23.59 seconds, just outside the 2009 national record of 23.55 held by Blondell.
However, the time was good enough for Romany to book his ticket to Lima, Peru for the FINA World Youth Swimming Championships in August, as the qualifying time is 23.60. Suriname’s Diguan Pigot took silver in 24.22 and Aruba’s Jonathan Panson, bronze in 24.33 while T&T’s Jonathan Cabral was sixth in 24.78. Kristin Julien won her first ever CCCAN gold in the 50m freestyle, in a personal best 27.48 to beat Honduran Julimar Avila (27.67) and Barbadian Zabrina Holder (27.80) into second and third respectively. Julien, who will represent this country at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle-of-Man later this year was hoping to join Romany and Kimberlee John-Williams on the team for the World Youth Championship in Lima last night when she competed in the 50m backstroke event. Julien was 0.01 seconds off the qualifying time going into the event.
On the opening night, the US-based John-Williams booked her spot with her 30.48 clocking in the 50m backstroke. First day double-gold medal winner, Dylan Carter added a silver to his tally when he raced home in a personal best of 24.38 in the 13-14 boys’ 50m freestyle. First home was Aruba’s Jordy Groters (24.17) while Panama’s Manuel Gonzalez took bronze in 24.45, with T&T’s Jabari Baptiste, seventh in 25.70, a personal best. The other silver medal on the night for the T&T swimmers came from Stefan Sharpe, who swam the gruelling 15-17 boys’ 1,500m freestyle in 16 minutes, 30.80 seconds.
CCCAN medal standings after two days
Teams Gold Silver Bronze Total
P Rico 8 8 12 28
T&T 9 6 4 19
Mexico 5 8 4 17
Aruba 3 2 4 9
Suriname 3 3 1 7
El Sal’dor 3 6 1 10
Guat’ala 4 3 3 10
Honduras 2 4 1 7
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