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.
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.
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.