Williamson and Daley lead medal charge

  • Making a splash: Williamson broke the Carifta and Bermuda age-group record for the 50 metre breaststroke at the Championships in Nassau yesterday (Photograph by Doug Patterson)

The medals and records continued to pile up for Team Bermuda at the Carifta Swimming Championships in Nassau, Bahamas yesterday.

Day three of the four-day competition at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre saw the island’s contingent capture ten medals, including six gold, to take their overall tally to 29.

The team’s remarkable haul has exceeded the 21 medals won at last year’s championships in Martinique. The 13 gold medals they have won have also eclipsed last year’s haul of nine.

“I am very pleased with the performance of the team,” Ben Smith, the national swimming coach, said on the eve of last night’s finals. “The competition has been very strong but our swimmers continue to rise to the challenge.

“Watching Sam Williamson fight to catch his competitor and take the gold was a sight to see. Sam so far has set age-group records in the 200 breast and 50 breast.

“Jesse Washington set records in the 200 free, 50 fly and 100 fly. His time in the 200 free also qualifies him for the Arena Pro series in the US.

“The 4x100 free relay broke the Carifta record while Payton Zelkin broke the 200 free Carifta record.”

Going into yesterday’s schedule the island’s swimmers had achieved a staggering 73 personal bests.

Leading the medal assault in the long course pool yesterday were Elan Daley and Williamson, who bagged five of the island’s six gold medals.

Daley won gold in the girls 11-12 50 metre breaststroke, 200 metre individual medley and 100 metre freestyle to take her individual medal tally to seven.

Williamson won gold in the boys 11-12 200 metre individual medley and 50 metre breaststroke and silver 100 metre freestyle to extend his personal medal haul to five. His time of 32.42 in the 50 metre breaststroke is a Carifta and Bermuda age group record.

Also adding to an already impressive medal haul was Payton Zelkin who won silver in the girls 11-12 200 metre individual medley and bronze in the 100 metre freestyle.

Zelkin now has a team-high eight medals, including three gold, to go along with her new Carifta record.

Jesse Washington won gold in the boys 15-17 100 metre freestyle in a Bermuda record time of 52.40 after eclipsing Nick Thompson’s eight-year old mark. Washington has bagged three medals, four age-group records and a Carifta record at this year’s championships.

Logan Watson-Brown won bronze in the girls 13-14 100 metre freestyle to go with the silver she won in the 200 metre freestyle.

“Amazing performances by this young group of swimmers,” Smith said after last night’s finals. “We are pleased with the way they have handled themselves and look forward to a good finish tomorrow.

“I hope that Bermuda is proud of this team and that this may lead to funding so we can build further on this success.”