USA-based, Dylan Carter established a new meet record as T&T won four gold medals in a haul of 12 on the opening night of the 28th edition of the Caribbean Free Trade Association (Carifta) Swimming Championships, at the National Stadium Pool, Independence Park, Kingston, Jamaica on Saturday night.
The 16-year-old Carter splashed home in the 15-17 100 metres butterfly in 55 seconds to better his own record of 55.79 set last year in Bahamas, to complete a string of three straight gold medals swim for T&T. A distant second was Bahamian Zuhayr in 55.66 seconds while Carter's team-mate, Joshua Romany took bronze in 56.80.
The other gold medal winners for T&T in the 22-nation championships which also includes water polo and Open Water Swimming were Adrian Goin, Tyla Martin and the 15-17 boys 400 metres freestyle relay team anchored by Carter.
Goin was the first recipient of gold for T&T, in the 13-14 100m butterfly, touching the wall in 1:00.53 ahead of Suriname's Cedric Blokland (1:00.87) and Jesse Washington (1:01.17) of Bermuda.
Martin kept the momentum going when she also struck gold in the 15-17 100m butterfly, in 1:03.32 ahead of Zabrina Holder of Barbados (1:04.73) and Zara Bailey of Jamaica (1:04.87).
The 15-17 boys 400m freestyle relay quartet of Emiro Goosen, Jabari Baptiste, Romany and Carter then blew away the competition as they struck gold in 3:33.73, a new Games record to erase the 2009 mark of 3:34.07 which was held by Martinique. Suriname swam to silver in 3:40.41, and Jamaica, third in 3:41.56.
The T&T swimmers also bagged three silver and four more bronze medals to trail Guadeloup's 16 medals (four gold, nine silver, three bronze) at the top of the medal table.
Alexandria Donahue swam to second in the 15-17 girls 200m breaststroke in 2:43.05 to deny Jamaican duo Zara Bailey (2:41.37) and Breanna Roman (2:44.14) a one-two finish.
Jada Chai got silver medal in 1:10.24 in the 11-12 girls 100m butterfly as Guadeloupe's Luisa Bellon (1:10.13) touched the wall just ahead of her and third placed Annabelle Lyn of Jamaica (1:10.96) while in the 11-12 boys 100m butterfly Kael Yorke was second in 1:04.63 behind Yael Touw Ngie Tjouw of Suriname (1:04.33), with Yannis Lerider of Martinique third in 1:06.34.
Rebecca Marshall added to T&T's medal tally with a bronze in the 15-17 girls 50m backstroke in 32.15 to trail Guadeloupe's Marine Darx (32.04) and Suriname's Briennne Renfurm (32.11) home and in the boys equivalent, David Mc Leod (27.79) edged out countryman, Jabari Baptiste (28.12) for bronze behind Jamaican Timothy Wynter (27.09) and Bahamian, Dionisio Carey (27.62).
In the 15-17 boys 200m breaststroke, Jeron O'Brien also collected his first medal when he swam into third behind Aruban Jordy Groters (2:22.79) and Dustin Tynes of Bahamas (2:23.48). O'Brien's team-mate Jonathan Ramkissoon was fourth in 2:32.99.
The 11-12 boys 400m freestyle relay team of Jeron Thompson, Marc Anthony Beckles, Kyle Sirju and Yorke got the other bronze in 4:16.37 with Martinique (4:05.05) and Jamaica (4:12.39) taking gold and silver respectively.
Intermittent power cuts put a damper on Saturday's evening session for approximately 30 minutes, but could not stop T&T from ending the day on top with 186 points, six ahead of two-time defending champions, Guadeloupe while host Jamaica is next with 160 followed by Aruba (152), Bahamas (140), Martinique and Barbados with 103 each and Suriname, eight points behind.
According to a report in the Jamaica Observer Newspaper, a faulty breaker at the facility was the cause of the delay and there was no standby generator, as that is too expensive, ranging in the region of $50,000 per hour, used or unused.
Following a colourful opening ceremony showcasing the participating teams, the lights first went at 6.44 pm at the conclusion of the second final of the night. A few more finals ran off very quickly before the second electricity failure at 7.12 pm. Power returned after another 17 minutes delay.
Other finalists in Individual events on the first day of competition were as follows:
13-14 800m freestyle: 8th Shania David
15-17 800m freestyle: 4th Syriah David; 7th Theana Hay
11-12 200m breaststroke: 4th Vrisnelit Faure
11-12 50m backstroke: 5th Jada Chai
13-14 50m backstroke: 4th Ariel Cape
13-14 100m butterfly: 6th Amira Pilgrim
400m freestyle relays:
13- 14: 6th (Jewel Mulrain, Shania David, Ariel Cape, Amira Pilgrim)
15 - 17: 4th (Tyla Martin, Syriah David, Alexandria Donahue, Rebecca Marshall
13-14 1500m freestyle: 5th Christian Marsden: 7th Kyle Caracciolo
15-17 1500m freestyle: 9th Emiro Goosen
11-12 200m breaststroke: 4th Jeron Thompson
13-14 50m backstroke: 5th Justin Samlalsingh; 6th Revash Ramtahal
400m freestyle relays:
13 - 14: 4th (Adrian Goin, Aaron Acres, Kyle Caracciolo, Osaze Riley)
Teams G S B T
Guadeloupe 4 9 3 16
T&T 4 3 5 12
Aruba 4 3 3 10
Jamaica 4 2 5 11
Suriname 3 4 0 7
Bahamas 3 2 5 10
Barbados 3 2 3 8
Cayman Islands 2 0 0 2
Martinique 1 1 3 5
Bermuda 1 0 1 2
Grenada 0 1 0 1
French Guiana 0 1 0 1