TRINIDAD AND Tobago’s Nikoli Blackman set a new meet record in the boys’ 15-17 50-metre butterfly event on day three of the Pan American Age Group Swimming Championships at the National Aquatic Centre, Couva on Saturday.
Blackman splashed to victory in a blistering 24.92 seconds, smashing the previous record of 24.95, set by Mexico's Guillermo Ruben Cruzord in 2018. Honduras’ Martinez Hernandez (25.45) bagged silver and Ecuador’s Ariel Herrera (25.89) bronze.
Blackman’s record-breaking performance climaxed TT’s 17-medal haul – three gold, seven silver and seven bronze – on the third day. This carried TT’s overall medal tally to 48 after three days of competition.
Also winning gold on Saturday was Giovanni Rivas and Christian Awah.
In the boys’ 13-14 50m butterfly, Rivas touched the wall in 26.81, ahead of runner-up Jair Holtuin (26.88) and countryman Zachary Anthony (27.10) who claimed bronze.
Awah swam to the top of the podium in the boys 18-and-over 50m butterfly. He clocked 24.60 while compatriot Cadell Lyons (24.78) earned silver and Dominican Republic’s Denzel Gonzalez (25.47) snagged bronze.
Blackman also got silver in the 11-and-over 400m freestyle. He clocked 4:05.49, finishing behind Puerto Rican winner Victor Rosado (4:00.12) and ahead of third placed Caleb Romero (4:06.06), also of Puerto Rico.
Silver for TT also came in the boys 11-12 100m breaststroke as Alejandro Agard stopped the clock on 1:17.91, mere milliseconds away from eventual champion Ian Hernandez (1:17.61) of Puerto Rico. Barbados’ Zachary Burke (1:22.73) was third.
And, in the respective boys' and girls' 18-and-over 100m breaststroke, TT’s Josiah Parag (1:08.57) and Gabriela Ann Donahue (1:17.36) picked up silver.
TT’s boys 15-17 800m freestyle relay team of Blackman, Aaron Stuart, Josiah Changar and Johann-Matthew Matamoro (8:08.27) and the 18-and-over 800m freestyle relay quartet of Lyons, Parag, Delroy Tyrrell and Aqeel Joseph (8:43.71) also got silver.
In the bronze department, Blackman touched the wall in 1:06.96 in the 15-17 100m breaststroke, Anpherne Bernard clocked 1:12.53 in the boys 13-14 100m breaststroke and Ornella Walker stopped the clock on 2:28.36 of the girls 11-and-over 200m backstroke.
Also placing third for TT was Matamoro (2:12.35) in the 11-and-over 200m backstroke, and the boys 13-14 800m freestyle relay, featuring Rivas, Anthony, Liam Carrington and Darren Belfon (8:26.96).
And, in the girls 15-17 800m freestyle relay, Joy Blackett, Amari Ash, Gabrielle Vickles and Tyla Ho-A-Shu produced another bronze display in 10:08.98.
The meet concludes on Sunday.