Cayman notches fourth in high jump, personal bests in pool

| 31/07/2017
CNS Local Life

(L-R) Cayman swimmers John Bodden, Sarah Jackson and Jonathan Key

(CNS Local Life): While not taking home any medals from the Commonwealth Youth Games, held 19-23 July in the Bahamas, athletes in the nine-member Cayman contingent earned fourth place in the high jump and recorded personal bests in swimming events. Overall, 1,300 young people, aged 14 to 18 years old, from 70 Commonwealth nations and territories took part in the games.

Cayman high jumper Lamar Reid missed a bronze medal in his event by 3cm. The three swimmers on the team, John Bodden, Jonathan Key and Sarah Jackson, while not making the podium, were happy to finish with their best times and grateful for the experience. Rounding out the squad were Rasheem Brown, Aijah Lewis and Claudina Morgan (track and field); and Chambria Dalhouse and Alexander Smith (boxing).

“Swimming at Youth Commonwealth was a great experience,” Bodden said. “It was an amazing opportunity to be able to compete with swimmers at that level and see where I rank within them.” He added, “It was also important to swim and train in a long course pool, since we don’t have one in Cayman it really does help us a lot when it is available.”

He also spoke about his best race at the games. “(M)y 400m freestyle ‘personal best’ was exciting because I haven’t done the event in such a long time. It was a great boost of confidence that helped with the final two days of the meet,” he said.

Teammate Sarah Jackson said the Games offered a “great swim meet in a great place”. She also spoke of being able to compete in a 50m pool, saying it was “always (a) great experience as I don’t get to train in one regularly – so I value those meets most. I race to beat what I’ve done before so personal best times mean a lot to me no matter how small they are; it means I’m improving.”

Jackson will now focus on upcoming international meets, which will feature 50m pools along with the FINA World Short Course, 25m events. “For me I’m definitely looking for more meets out there now that I’ve had a taste of what the rest of the world is doing. I love being able to represent my country,” she said. “Swimming my 50m butterfly personal best is a testament to my training and my coach and I look forward to more time drops in upcoming meets.”

Key said of his results, “I did my best time in the 50m freestyle and felt good going into this race. I wanted to see what I could do. Interesting to see where we stand speed wise as a small island against the bigger countries such as England, Canada and New Zealand.”

The times the swimmers recorded will improve their seeding for future competitions.

Coach Darren Mew congratulated the swim team. “Our swimmers had a great meet; they came up against some world-class swimmers from all over the commonwealth and performed well,” he said. “They remained focused on their own performances and were rewarded with best times. The experience will help prepare them for the future international meets especially those with a Games environment. They were a credit to Cayman not only in their performances but also their professionalism and how they conducted themselves.”

The next Commonwealth Youth Games will be in Belfast, Ireland, in 2021.

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Category: Sports

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