The Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) has named 25 swimmers to commence training ahead of the 31st Carifta, Water Polo, Open Water and Synchronised Swimming Championships, to be held in Martinique later this month.The championships will take place over four days, from March 22-26.At the Carifta Champs last year in Barbados, Jamaica picked up 25 medals – two gold, nine silver and 14 bronze – placing fifth overall with 458 points.The Jamaicans will be looking to improve last year’s tally and will have training sessions at the National Aquatic Centre on March 6, March 13, and March 19.The team will be under the supervision of coaches Gillian Millwood and Miguel Jonas; manager, Georgia Sinclair Dr Jacqueline James, and physiotherapist, Sophia Brown.The championships are a FINA-approved qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They also serve as the top junior amateur swim meet for the Caribbean.SQUAD: Boys 11-12 – Rajiv Redhi; Girls 11-12 – Emily MacDonald and Simone Vale.Boys 13-14: Chester Adams, Cameron Brown, Jordane Payne and Nicholas Vale. Girls 13-14: Gabrianna Banks, Naomi Eaton, Brittney Williams and Laura Lim Sang.Boys 15-17: Joseph Black, Mattheau Bonner, Keanan Dols, Sean-Douglas Gooden, Barak Goren, Jesse Marsh and Xavier Phillips.Girls 15-17: Anjuii Barrett, Kelsie Campbell, Shaun Johnson, Annabella Lyn, Bryanna Renuart and Angara Sinclair.The Open Water swimmers are Johnathan Lyn and Annabella Lyn.
Jamaica won seven medals on the opening day at the 31st staging of the CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Martinique.The Jamaicans earned one gold, three silver and three bronze medals on Tuesday, a performance that carried 24 personal bests.First-time national representative, Kelsie Campbell, led the way with gold in the 15-17 girls 100-metre butterfly in 1:04.99.The last time a Jamaican won this event was when Jamaica hosted the event in 2013 and Zara Bailey prevailed in 1:04.87.Campbell’s teammate, Shaun Johnson, finished seventh in the event in a personal best 1:06.78.Another national debutant, Rajiv Redhi, won Jamaica’s first medal, a silver in the 11-12 boys’ 200m breaststroke, in a personal best 2:45.69. This is the first medal Jamaica has won in this event since 2011 when Xavier Philips won bronze.Cameron Brown placed sixth in the 13-14 boys’ 200m breaststroke in a personal best 2:39.48.Emily MacDonald, also representing Jamaica for the first time, won bronze in the 11-12 girls 50m backstroke in a personal best 33.46 and Shaun Johnson, also making her debut at the meet, won silver in the 15-17 girls 50m backstroke in a personal best 31.06. Angara Sinclair placed fourth in the same event, in 31.67.SILVER FOR DOLSThe 15-17 boys’ 100m butterfly saw Olympic hopeful, Keanan Dols, returning after a one-year absence to win silver in 56.80, while Jesse Marsh finished eighth in 58.95.Dols also placed fourth in the 15-17 boys’ 50m backstroke in 28.07.Simone Vale ended a long drought for Jamaica in the 11-12 girl’s 100-metre butterfly, securing bronze in 1:12.17. Bryanna Renuart ended an even drier spell when she won the bronze in the girl’s 13-14 200-metre breaststroke in 2:44.51.Jamaica had not won a medal in this event since Gabrielle Hopkins claimed silver in 2012 in 2:54.90.Nicholas Vale, brother of Simone, finished sixth in the 13-14 boys’ 100m butterfly in a personal best time of 1:00.57.
Former world 100m champion Yohan Blake sent out an early message to his rivals when he stole the spotlight at the MVP Track and Field meet inside the National Stadium on Saturday night. Blake seemed to be nearing his best after years of injury setbacks as he gave the fair-sized crowd something to talk about, stopping the clock in a world leading 9.95 seconds to win his 100m heat. After seeing his training partner at Racers Track Club, Warren Weir, posting 10.07 seconds to win his 100m race in the previous heat, Blake settled in his blocks in front of an anxious crowd inside the venue. The sprinter caught up to the field in the early part of the race then burst away from the pack to score an impressive win ahead of Sprintec’s Rasheed Dwyer and High Performance Training Centre’s Zharnel Hughes, who both clocked 10.10 seconds. Delivered “First and foremost, I must give God thanks. He has been present in my life and has changed my life over the past weeks, and I have gotten rid of that name the ‘Beast’. I am happy for the win as I came out and delivered and it is like a heavy load has been lifted off my head,” Blake said after his run. “While warming up before the race, I felt very good, and I am extremely happy with my first outing. This is a big step for me, and I can say Yohan is back,” Blake declared. Earlier, Blake had teamed up with Weir, St Kitts and Nevis’ Jason Rodgers, and Michael Frater to win the Open 4x100m for Racers in a zippy 38.45 seconds. Annsert Whyte effortlessly clocked a season best 49.39 seconds in winning his men’s 400m hurdles event – the fastest time for the night in the event. Javarn Gallimore was next best in 50.09 seconds, while Ricardo Cunningham of Cameron Blazers Track Club, who was running the event for the second time in his career, won his section in 50.28 seconds for the third fastest time overall. Racers-based Antiguan Miguel Francis delivered big time in copping the men’s 200m event with a 20.11 seconds clocking, getting the better of Sprintec’s Oshane Bailey, 20.42, with 400m specialist Javon Francis of Akan Track Club finishing third in 20.54 seconds. MVP’s Jonia McDonald continued to show improvements in the 400m as, competing in the final heat, he cruised to victory in 46.32 seconds for the fastest time, overall, with Peter Matthews finishing second in 46.38 seconds ahead of Josef Robertson, 46.45. Making his debut in the one-lap event this season, outstanding Junior Jaheel Hyde won his heat in 46.66 seconds to be fourth overall, School record Kingston College, Calabar, and Jamaica College warmed up for next weekend’s Penn Relays in impressive style as all three teams went under 40 seconds in the 4x100m relay, with Kingston College leading the way. The quartet of Shivnarine Smalling, Akeem Bloomfield, Jhevaughn Matherson and Tyrese Bryan finished second behind Racers in 39.52 seconds, the fastest time by a schoolboy team this year and a Kingston College school record. Calabar were third in 39.60 seconds, while Jamaica College were fourth in 39.77 seconds. On the female side, it was Sprintec’s Ronda Whyte who stole the show with a big personal best in the women’s 400m hurdles. Whyte was at her best as she turned back a strong field to win the event in 55.58 seconds to be the top Jamaican female in the event so far this season. Trailing her in second was training partner at Sprintec, Ristananna Tracey, 56.04, and her sister, Nikita Tracey, 56.33, of MVP Track Club. World Championships 400m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson, 52.10, topped the field in the women’s 400m, getting the better of Namibia’s Herunga Tjipekapora, 52.81, and Dawnalee Loney, 53.14.