Athletes lauded for efforts at Commonwealth Games

| 17/04/2018
CNS Local Life

Team Cayman at closing ceremony (Photos by Ben Meade)

(CNS Local Life): The 21 athletes who represented the Cayman Islands at the XXI Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia from 4-15 April have all returned home, being told that despite not winning any medals, they are still winners. Among the highlights for Team Cayman over the 11 days of the Games were sprinter Kemar Hyman winning his heats and semi-final races before finishing fifth in the 100 metres, and Christopher Jackson finishing eighth of 40 competitors in the sport shooting trap competition.

“The greatest honour for an athlete is to be selected to represent their country internationally, and you guys have done it very well,” Donald McLean, the president of the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee (CIOC), told the athletes. The CIOC doubles as the British Territory’s Commonwealth Games Association.

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Kemar Hyman with his certificate of merit

On the squash court, Cameron Stafford bounced back after being eliminated from the main draw to win four straight matches to advance to the consolation final. He fell to Joe Chapman of the British Virgin Islands to be the runner-up in the non-medal aspect of the competition. He later teamed up with Marlene West to progress from the group stage of the mixed doubles tournament for the first time.

In the pool, Lauren Hew made it to the semi-final of the women’s 50-metre freestyle. She swam a personal best in the heats and did so again in the 50-metre butterfly. Alison Jackson also set a personal best in the 400-metre freestyle and Iain McCallum equalled his previous best time in the 50-metre butterfly.

“We did not win any medals; 34 other countries did not win any either. So, it’s not about medals,” McLean told the Cayman Islands athletes at a lunch held in their honour. “Only a small percentage of athletes win medals but competing, the comradery, building better fellowship, and basically making you better human beings for a better society, that’s the role of sports.”

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Trap shooter Christopher Jackson in action

With competitors in seven sports – athletics, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, shooting, squash, and swimming – McLean said that was an accomplishment for one of the smaller territories in the Commonwealth. “There are very few other Caribbean islands that have that type of diversity,” he noted.

Before presenting Kemar Hyman with a certificate of merit from the Commonwealth Games Association for his fifth-place finish in the sprint marquee, the CIOC president told the team: “What’s important is that you competed to the best of your ability on that day, and more importantly that you enjoyed yourself and you represented Cayman in a very positive manner. For that, we are winners.”

The athletes who competed at the Games were:

Athletics: Ronald Forbes, Kemar Hyman, Carl Morgan, Alex Pascal
Boxing: Brandy Barnes, Dariel Ebanks
Cycling: Michael Testori
Gymnastics: Sami Peene, Raegan Rutty
Shooting: Christopher Jackson
Squash: Eilidh Bridgeman, Caroline Laing, Alex Frazer, Jacob Kelly, Samantha Hennings, Cameron Stafford, Marlene West
Swimming: David Ebanks, Lauren Hew, Alison Jackson, Iain McCallum

By Ben Meade, pool reporter for the Commonwealth Games


Category: Sports

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Participation medals for all!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Consolation prizes

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well done to all. It would be good if, in the future, the CIOC would arrange for the relevant event schedule to be published a day or so in advance of each event, and if possible, where/how it can be seen,

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good job team Cayman…you did your best and that is all that matters.