JADA CHATOOR won the first gold medal for TT at the Carifta Swimming Championship yesterday evening at the Barbados Aquatic Centre, Wildey, Barbados. Chatoor grabbed the precious metal in the girls 15-17 800m freestyle, touching the wall in nine minutes, 19.21 seconds.
Placing second was Cayman Islands' Elana Sinclair with a time of 9:25.37, followed by Curacao's Samanatha Van Vuure, who captured bronze in 9:30.40.
Chatoor, a student of St Joseph's Convent Port of Spain, said, "I feel very excited, the team has trained very hard for the past six weeks and I'm very happy that the results are showing."
The 16 year-old continued, "I hope that the team can continue on for the next four days on this good path."
In the same event but in the 13-14 age group, Zoe Anthony swam to a deserved third place in nine minutes and 52 seconds. Cayman Islands' Raya Embury- Brown took the gold in a fast 9:25.19, followed by her compatriot Avery Lambert in 9:26.37.
Nickolai Blackman was in a race by himself as he annihilated his competitors in the boys 13-14 1500m final in a time of 17:00.01. Blackman missed out on George Bovell's national record by five seconds. His nearest competitor. Christopher Pollard of Barbados, was over 30 seconds behind. Pollard finished in 17:34.63 and Diego Dulieu clocked 17:37.95, as the hosts took the second and third positions.
Blackman said, "It was very tiring, the pressure was real because I had to beat the times from the slower heats. With this medal, I hope that my teammates can believe they can win too."
Gabriela Donahue blazed TT to its third gold medal of the evening in the 50m 15-17 girls backstroke in 29.98 seconds. Donahue defeated Brianna Anderson of Jamaica who timed 30.22 and Barbadian Danielle Titus who captured the bronze medal in 30.43.