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Gold for Mc Leod, John-Williams at CCCAN
FINA World Championship-bound Joshua Mc Leod and US-based Kimberlee John-Williams copped gold medals for T&T on the opening night of finals at the six-day 27th Central American and Caribbean Swimming Confederation Championships (CCCAN) in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, yesterday evening.
Mc Leod finished first in the 18 & Over 50 metre backstroke while John-Williams, who attends Baylor High School, topped the Girls version in the 15-17 age-group. Three other medals were won on the night in various age-groups of the race with Caryle Blondell following Mc Leod in, to take the silver medal while two-time Olympian Sharntelle McLean and Stefan Sharpe of Marlins, each bagged a bronze in the Girls 18 & Over and Boys 15-17, respectively.
Later, John-Williams was also scheduled to compete in the 15-17 age-group 200m freestyle final and will hope to improve on her two gold, silver and five bronze from 2009. Dylan Carter also of Marlins, who was the winner of three gold and three silver on debut in Venezuela two years ago, booked a spot in the 13-14 boys’ 200m freestyle final with team-mate Jabari Baptiste. He also qualified for the 50m backstroke splash after the morning preliminary heats. Sharpe and Joshua Romany, another Marlins swimmer, will seek glory in the 15-17 boys’ 200m freestyle. Napoleon Howell too, secured a spot in the 18 & Over 200m breaststroke final as well as Rejan Chin (15-17 girls’ 200m breaststroke); Jeron O’Brien (13-14 boys’ 200m breaststroke); Kristin Julien (13-14 girls’ 100m backstroke) and Revash Ramtahal (11-12 boys’ 50m backstroke).
The T&T contingent already has had its challenges of a two-hour flight from Piarco to Puerto Rico, then a three-hour drive from San Juan to the competition venue in Mayaguez while accommodation has been described as not being up to its best with eight to 12 people to a room with no air-condition. Today, the swimmers will be back in action again in the morning heats while the 17 and Under boys’ and girls’ water polo teams will get their first taste of competition against host Puerto Rico followed by Mexico tomorrow. Two years ago, T&T had a record haul of 54 medals (16 gold, 23 silver, 15 bronze) for second spot behind host Venezuela. This time out Youth Olympic gold medallist Christian Homer, Samantha Rahael, Cadell Lyons and Kimba Collymore are all absent from the T&T team due to school and previous commitments.
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