The National Aquatics Centre was briefly plunged into darkness six finals into the ultimate evening of competition at the 28th staging of the Carifta Swimming Championship.
An announcement followed over the public address system, asking that the grandstand to the far side be evacuated. As the youngsters who became excited by the possible danger piled out, smoke was seen coming from the rear of the stand.
The fire brigade was soon on the scene, as it was reported that there was a small fire coming from one of the generators. The area was cordoned off and persons were allowed to return to the stands and focus returned to the pool.
This was the only dark spot on a bright night for Jamaica’s swimmers, as they bettered their medal haul from last year. At press time, with the six relays – yet to be contested – the country’s tally stood at 35: 11 gold, 11 silver and 13 bronze.
Jamaica also moved up on the points standings, as they occupied fourth with 508 points, having finished sixth last year. Guadeloupe (686) led ahead of Trinidad and Tobago (630) and Aruba (601). Last year, Jamaica won 32 medals.
Jamaica’s 11th gold medal of the championships was won by Timothy Wynter in the boys’ 15-17 200m backstroke in a time of 2:10.81. His compatriot, Cameron Chow, (2:12.40) took silver ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Jabari Baptise (2:16.04).
The country added to its medal count in the first final of the night, as Annabella Lyn had to settle for silver after surrendering the lead in the closing stages of the girls’ 11-12 400m freestyle. She posted a time of four minutes 52.32 seconds to finish behind Aruba’s Florence Knock (4:50.94), with Guadeloupe’s Alice Marsau (4:56.28) taking bronze.
Lyn would cop her sixth medal of the championships and third silver, which came in the girls’ 11-12 200m backstroke. Lyn recorded a time of 2:38.70, which was bettered by Guadeloupe’s Louisa Bellon (2:38.60). The bronze was won by Barbados’ McKayla Treasure (2:38.84).
Sean-Douglas Gordon (1:19.34) won bronze for Jamaica in the boys’ 11-12 100m breaststroke.
The gold medal went to Barbados’ Luis Sebastian Weekes (1:16.67) ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Jeron Thompson (1:17.71).
Zara Bailey claimed silver in the girls’ 15-17 100m breaststroke with a time of 1:13.84 minutes.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Alexandria Donahue took the gold medal in a new record time of 1:12.33 minutes while the bronze went to Suriname’s Evita Leter (1:14.29).
The curtain will come down on the sixth and final day of action today with the open water component of the championships, which was introduced for the first time this year. The swimmers will battle each other in the waters of Puerto Seco Beach, Discovery Bay, with action set to get under way at 8:30 a.m.
Jamaica will be represented by six swimmers in the two age groups (13-14 and 15-17), as they tackle competitors from nine countries over the five-kilometre course.