Cross leads the way in Manchester

Experienced campaigner Andrei Cross led the Barbados effort at the recently concluded World Short Course Championships in Manchester England from April 9-13 with the highest placings for the competition. Cross placed 28th in the 50 metre breastroke in 28.45 and 35th in the 100 metre breastroke in 1:02.02. Those times represent the fastest done at these Championships by a Barbadian swimmer since the change of the millennium beating the 32.05 done by Andrew Jones at the 2006 Shanghai Games and the 1:02.66 done by Bradley Ally at the 2004 Games in Indianapolis USA.They also represent the fastest time done by a CARIFTA swimmer since 2000. Cross’ time in the 100 M breaststroke represents a new Barbados 18&over age group and National open record lowering his own time of 1:02.05 established in November 2007 at the British University SC Championships.

Vaughn Forsythe clocked times of 1:57.48 (56th) for the 200 freestyle 4:19.63 (44th) for the 400 metre freestyle and the 100 IM and 52nd for the 100 Individual Medley 1:04.44 (52nd) for a creditable showing for his first major international outing. The experience should put him in good stead to challenge the top times posted by Barbados at these Championships in the last eight years, Damian Alleyne’s 4:00.36 and 1:51.38 at the 2002 Moscow edition and Ally’s 55.67 from his semi-final swim in 2004. Forsythe opened his debut by establishing a new 18 & over record in the 200 M freestyle erasing old team mate Cliff Gittens’ record of 1:58.19 from December 2003

Race summaries

Brett Fraser breaks 7 national records

Brett Fraser breaks 7 national records

Brett Fraser was in great form at the World Short Course (25 metre) swimming championships setting a national record in every event that he swam for a grand total of seven new records.

In the 50 metre backstroke he lowered national teammate Andrew Mackay’s 2002 Championship and national record time of 26.85 to 26.17. He also had the best placing of a Cayman Islands swimmer since 2000 in the event as he placed 33rd topping Mackay’s 34th showing in 2002 in Moscow. He also had the third best time by a CARIFTA swimmer since the new millennium at these championships only topped by the Bahamas’ Chris Vythoulkas 26.10 (2006 China) and Nicky Neckles 25.71 Barbados (2002 Moscow).

The 100 metre backstroke also another Mackay 2002 Championship and national standard fall to Fraser as he crushed the previous standard of 56.80 to record 55.84 for 29th place . In this event only Neckles at 55.08 (2002) is above Brett for best CARIFTA time at these championships in the last eight years.

The 200 metre backstroke saw yet the last of Mackay’s backstroke standards fall as Brett slashed the 2:02.17 national record done at the 2003 Island Games to record 2:00.17 for 19th place. On the CARIFTA rankings from 2000 backstroke kingpin Nicky Neckles has pole position with his 1:58.12 (2002) followed closely by George Gleason 158.18 (2002) with Fraser now third.

In the freestyle events Fraser destroyed his own 2004 record 50 metre record of 24.70 to power his way to 23.08 for 39th ranking overall. Only Trinidad and Tobago star George Bovell with semi final swim of 21.77 has a faster time than Brett since 2000. In the 100 metre freestyle Brett secured the best CARIFTA time this millennium when he clocked 50 .09 for 35th place beating the previous best of 50.91 by Damian Alleyne when he placed 40th in 2002. This in addition to beating his 2007 national record of 54.78. In the 200 metre freestyle he again shattered a national record when raced past his 2007 time of 1:56.29 to record 1:50.05. He again edged Alleyne 1:51.38 but this time for third overall by a CARIFTA swimmer since 2000 only bettered by Bovell 1:47.62 (2002) and US Virgin Islands George Gleason 1:47.69(2002). In the 400 metre freestyle he edged older brother Shaune Fraser’s standard of 4:01.83 set at the Island Games 2003 to record 4:00.74. That time puts only behind Alleyne’s 2002 Championship time of 4:00.36.

Fraser a freshman at the University of Florida has seen his swimming performance on the upswing from 2007 especially in the backstroke events where he swept the backstroke events at CARIFTA 2007 in Jamaica and recently set national long course records in the 100 and 200 metre backstroke events and qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. With older brother Shaune setting a new national record and Olympic qualifying mark in the 100 metre butterfly with a time of 54.42 at a meet in Ohio both Frasers will be representing Cayman at this year’s Games. Hopefully they will be joined by the Cayman Islands first ever qualifier Andrew Mackay in the individual medley events. With the addition of Joel Rombough the Cayman Islands should have a formidable medley relay with the possible line up being Brett on the backstroke Rombough breastroke, MacKay the butterfly and Shaune the freestyle leg to threaten the CARIFTA big three in recent years in this event Barbados, Bahamas and the US Virgin Islands.

Race summaries

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World Short Course swimming championships

Experienced campaigner Andrei Cross led the Barbados effort at the recently concluded World Short Course Championships in Manchester England from April 9-13 with the highest placings for the competition. Cross placed 28th in the 50 metre breastroke in 28.45 and 35th in the 100 metre breastroke in 1:02.02. Those times represent the fastest done at these Championships by a Barbadian swimmer since the change of the millennium beating the 32.05 done by Andrew Jones at the 2006 Shanghai Games and the 1:02.66 done by Bradley Ally at the 2004 Games in Indianapolis USA.They also represent the fastest time done by a CARIFTA swimmer since 2000. Cross’ time in the 100 M breaststroke represents a new Barbados 18&over age group and National open record lowering his own time of 1:02.05 established in November 2007 at the British University SC Championships.

Vaughn Forsythe clocked times of 1:57.48 (56th) for the 200 freestyle 4:19.63 (44th) for the 400 metre freestyle and the 100 IM and 52nd for the 100 Individual Medley 1:04.44 (52nd) for a creditable showing for his first major international outing. The experience should put him in good stead to challenge the top times posted by Barbados at these Championships in the last eight years, Damian Alleyne’s 4:00.36 and 1:51.38 at the 2002 Moscow edition and Ally’s 55.67 from his semi-final swim in 2004. Forsythe opened his debut by establishing a new 18 & over record in the 200 M freestyle erasing old team mate Cliff Gittens’ record of 1:58.19 from December 2003.

Race summaries

European Swimming Championships

European Swimming Championships

Former CARIFTA standouts French swimmers Malia Metella and Coralie Balmy were in good form at the recent European Swimming Championships in Eindhoven Netherlands March 13-24. In the individual races they contested world records were set.

Malia Metella

Metella placed fourth in the 50 freestyle in 24.93 where Dutch swimmer Marleen Veldhuis set the short lived world record of 24.08.Malia is currently ranked ninth in the world with that performance.

Coralie Balmy

Balmy placed second in the 400 freestyle in a personal best of 4:04.15 behind the world record swim of Italy’s Federica Pelligrini who set the standard at 4:01.23. The time puts Balmy as third fastest in the event in the world and the fastest form the CARIFTA region as it surpasses Janelle Atkinson of Jamaica’s 4:08.79 fourth place showing at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Balmy collected another medal when she swam the second leg of the gold medal winning French 800 metre freestyle relay. She swam the fastest leg for France of 1:56.58 which speaks volumes when your team includes the 200 metre freestyle world record holder in the person of Laure Manaudou.

Balmy held the 800 metre freestyle record for 13-14 girls at CARIFTA at 9:23.62 until broken in 2007 by Bahamas McKayla Lightbourn. Metella still holds CARIFTA records in the 50 freestyle for the 11-12 and 13-14 age groups at 27.86 and 27.45 respectively and is the reigning Olympic silver medallist in the 50 freestyle.

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Martyn Forde sets new national mark

Swimming at the Stanford University Invitational Grand Prix over the weekend for Barbados Martyn Forde broke his national mark of 23.30 for the 50 metre freestyle set last November with a preliminary swim of 23.17 but was just short of the Olympic B standard of 23.13 .His morning heats time had placed him 11th and he would return to swim in the B finals . In the evening finals he would again swim faster than his November standard and win the race but yet again miss the standard as he won in a time of 23.21.

Forde is locked in a tight battle with teammate Terence Haynes as to who will make the Olympic Qualifying times for the sprint freestyle (50 and 100 metre) events for the Beijing Games

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