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David Mc Leod erased a ten-year-old record and Kristin Julien, a two-year mark, on their way to gold medals in their respective 15-17 age-group 50m backstroke on the third night of finals at the 20th Caribbean Islands Swimming Championship being held at the Aquatic Centre, Wildey, Barbados, on Saturday.
Overall, it was another productive night for T&T swimmers who added eight gold, seven silver and five bronze for a three-day total of 44 medals (15 gold, 16 silver and 13 bronze) to trail Puerto Rico 55 medals (19 gold, 20 silver, 16 bronze), while Aruba is third with 21 (ten gold, three silver, eight bronze) and Bahamas fourth with 26 (eight gold, eight silver and ten bronze).
Puerto Rico also lead the points table with 641, well clear of T&T (479), Barbados (390) and Bahamas (367) with last night and today’s finals left to complete the championship.
One of three Mc Leod brothers on the T&T swim team, David, raced to the wall in a sizzling 26.96 seconds to better the previous record of Nicholas Bovell (27.01) set in 2004.
Second to the wall was Mc Leod’s countryman Jabari Baptiste in 27.47, while Jamaican Timothy Wynter got bronze in 27.79.
It was the second gold of the night for Mc Leod (David) after he swam away with the 15-17 boys 50m freestyle in 24.17 followed by Aruban Mikel Shreuders (24.27) and Curacao’s Jeremy Kostons (24.33).
Julien was not to be overshadowed as she won the 15-17 girls 50m backstroke in a CAC A standard time of 29.81, which was also faster than the 30.26 2012 CISC record of fellow T&T national Kimberlee John-Williams.
Jamaican Danielle Boothe was second in 31.48 and Puerto Rico’s Maria Burgos third in 32.15.
However, the first to deliver gold on the night for T&T was Johnnya Ferdinand in the 15-17 girls 50m freestyle, with a 27.02 clocking, ahead of teammate Kristin Julien (27.08) and Aruba’s Rebecca Maduro (27.14) in a race which saw the top five finishers all attain the Pan American B qualifying mark of 27.61.
Next to deliver precious metal for T&T on the night was Jada Chai in the 11-12 Girls’ 100m butterfly 1:08.99 to beat teammate Vrisnelit Faure (1:10.10) and Aruba’s Elisabeth Timmer (1:11.16) into the silver and bronze positions.
In the 13-14 boys 50m backstroke, T&T’s Justin Samlalsingh outswam his rivals for gold in 28.43 with Bermudan Jesse Washington (28.82) and Aruba’s Patrick Groters (28.94), completing the top three.
Two years ago, in Aruba, the host country emerged as overall champions with 1,411 points and 69 medals (26 gold, 22 silver and 21 bronze), to end T&T’s run of two straight titles. T&T had to settle for second with 74 medals (26 gold, 26 silver and 22 bronze) for 911 points.