Gabriella Donahue of T&T established the first Carifta record of the 2017 Carifta Swimming Championships at the Betty Kelly Kenning National Swimming Complex, Nassau, Bahamas, yesterday morning.


In the preliminary heats of the top Caribbean swimming event, which features 26 countries, Donahue emerged the fastest qualifier in the 13-14 girls 50 metres backstroke after she stopped the clock at 30.36 seconds with countrywoman Jahmia Harley, eighth best in 32.35.

The time by Donahue surpassed the 2016 Carifta record of 30.37 which was held by Emma Harvey of Bermuda. Donahue also erased the national record of Kristin Julien of 30.57, which was established at Carifta 2011 and was the Carifta record up to 2015.

It was one of two finals swim qualification for Donahue as she came home in two minutes, 56.05 seconds for fourth in the 200m breaststroke.

T&T’s Aqeel Joseph will line up in the 13-14 boys 50m backstroke gold medal splash as the sixth best qualifier after he touched the wall in the heats in 30.19.

Ornella Walker emerged third fastest in the 15-17 girls 50m backstroke in a personal best 31.02, while Jeron Thompson (28.32) and Justin Samlalsingh (28.60) were seventh and eighth, respectively, in the boys equivalent.

In the 11-12 age-group, Neishelah Caseman was the fifth fastest qualifier for the girls 50m backstroke final in a personal best of 33.90, while Zarek Wilson did his fastest time of 32.98 and Riquelio Joseph (33.01) in securing the fourth and fifth best qualifying times among the boys.

Harley will also be in the medal hunt in the 13-14 girls 100m butterfly after she touched the wall in a personal best of one minute,09.07 seconds as the third fastest with team-mate Regan Allen (1:09.26), fourth while Joseph also qualified to the 13-14 boys 100m butterfly gold medal splash following his personal best clocking of 1:00.01 minutes to end second in the heats.

And in the 15-17 category,Racine Ross raced to the wall in third in the girls 100m butterfly (1:05.32) and Jada Chai, sixth in 1:07.11, also a personal best, while Kael Yorke was second in the boys 100m butterfly (57.62).

Among the other 200m breaststroke heats, T&T had four other swimmers booked places in the finals last night with Zoe Anthony (3:06.65 mins) and Arielle Dickson (3:07.30), a personal best for fifth and sixth in the 11-12 girls heats; and Vrisnelit Faure (2:57.87) and Luke Gillette (2:33.90), both seventh in their 15-17 heats.

T&T also qualified its boys 15-17 400m freestyle relay team to the final after a time of three minutes, 47.06 was good enough for sixth best.