After three days of intense competition in Kingston, Jamaica, team Bahamas holds a comfortable lead over the rest of the field at the 2018 Caribbean Free Trade Agreement (CARIFTA) Swimming Championships.
The Bahamas currently has a total of 543.5 points, more than 100 points ahead of second place Jamaica with 395 points.
Guadeloupe is currently in third with 375, followed by Trinidad and Tobago with 356 and the Cayman Islands with 291. Barbados sits in sixth with 249, Martinique is seventh with 221 and Bermuda rounds out the field with 215.5.
Izaak Bastian led the charge for team Bahamas on day three. Bastian broke the CARIFTA meet record in the 15-17 boys 50-meter (m) breaststroke, touching the wall in 28.69 seconds. The Bahamas found success in the event across all age divisions, coming up with six medals in the 50 breast.
Nigel Forbes won gold in the 13-14 boys division, Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson and Jamilah Higgs finished first and third respectively in the 13-14 girls division and Lilly Higgs and Victoria Russell also finished first and third in the 15-17 girls division.
Bastian also broke the CARIFTA record and the Bahamas senior national record in the 200m breaststroke on opening night with a time of 2:17.78, easily surpassing the previous CARIFTA record of 2:20.18 set by Jordy Groters of Aruba in 2014.
The senior national record was held by Olympian Dustin Tynes at 2:18.13. The Youth Olympic Games A standard is 2:18.10
Bastian picked up his third individual gold on Sunday in the 50m butterfly, another event that team Bahamas excelled in as a whole.
Bastian won his division in 25.35 seconds, Forbes won the 11-12 boys division in 28.61 seconds, and Taylor and Rommel Ferguson finished first and second in the 13-14 boys division in 26.86 seconds and 27.16 seconds respectively.
Team Bahamas has been able to finish with double-digit medal counts through all three days of competition so far.
Some other swims that have highlighted Team Bahamas’ time in Jamaica include, Forbes winning gold in the 200 breast in 2:43.39, Higgs capturing gold in the 15-17 girls race in 2:40.21, Lamar Taylor scoring a gold in the 15-17 boys backstroke in 28.38 seconds and Forbes’ gold medal swim in the 11-12 boys 100m butterfly.
CARIFTA swimming action continues today at the National Aquatic Centre in Jamaica. It’s almost impossible for any team to catch up with team Bahamas with just five events left, which means it’s almost certain that The Bahamas will capture its second consecutive CARIFTA swimming title, and it’s fourth in five years.