Jamaica won 30 medals at the 32nd staging of the Carifta Swimming Championships, April 15-18th. The young swimmers swept all three categories of the girls’ 200m freestyle relays at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre in The Bahamas on Tuesday.
Team Jamaica ended the games sixth on the 20-team standing with 530.50 points after winning an impressive 12 gold, 8 silver and 10 bronze medals — the nation’s best medal haul since 2014. The Jamaican gold sweep of the girls’ 11-12, 13-14 and 15-17 200m freestyle relays was achieved for the first time in over a decade.
The teams set new Carifta and national records with the exception of the 15-17 girls team that was just outside the Carifta record time. However, they were outstanding in sweeping the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle relays as well as the 400m medley relay in the 15-17 age-group, which was also a feat being achieved by one country in over a decade.
Zaneta Alvaranga set a new CARIFTA and national record of 29.05 in the Girls’ 11-12 50-metre butterfly. While Nathaniel Thomas was crowned the fastest 11-12 boy in the region after winning the gold medal in a time of 29.52 — just outside of the national record of 26.29 seconds.
The CARIFTA Aquatics Championships is an annual, age-group event for the Caribbean. It has been held since 1985 and is similar in form/origin to the track & field/athletics CARIFTA Games which was first staged in Barbados in 1972, the brainchild of Austin Sealy, the then former President of the Olympic Association.