Zalayhar Lewis dominates on final day of Nat’l Open Short Course swimming

TT junior swimmer Zachary Anthony - Newsday File Photo/Lincoln Holder
TT junior swimmer Zachary Anthony - Newsday File Photo/Lincoln Holder

Ten-year-old swimmer Zalayhar Lewis continued her dominance on the final day of the National Open Short Course Swimming Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Couva on Sunday, as she won an impressive four gold medals across various events in the girls ten and under category.

On Friday, Lewis splashed to victory in three events as she claimed gold in the 200-metre freestyle and the 50m and 100m breaststroke events. She returned for more success at the Balmain venue two days later as she saw off stiff competition from Elin Stone and Zahara Anthony to win gold in the 200m individual medley, 100m backstroke, and the 50m butterfly and freestyle events.

Lewis and Anthony finished first and second in three of the races, with their swim to the wall in the 50m butterfly race a particularly exciting one as Lewis stopped the clock in a time of 34.23 seconds. Anthony was a close second in 34.35 seconds. In the 50m freestyle, Lewis got some separation from Anthony as she touched the wall first in 30.83 seconds, with the latter finishing in 31.46 seconds. Stone finished third in 34.15 seconds.

The pair of Darren Belfon and Aiden Nixon also showed their process in the pool, as they both grabbed three gold medals. Meanwhile, Zachary Anthony and Kiara Goodridge bagged two gold medals apiece. Belfon won the 400m freestyle, 200m backstroke and 50m butterfly events in the boys 11 and over category. Belfon and Zachary had a good battle for top spot in the 400m freestyle, as the former clinched the race in a time of four minutes, 15.75 seconds (4:15.75). Zachary finished a close second in 4:15.88. Belfon, 14, and Zachary, 15, had another intriguing battle in the 50m freestyle sprint event, as Zachary claimed gold in a time of 23.33 seconds – just edging Belfon who clocked 23.40 seconds.

Zachary’s other win on Sunday came in the 200m butterfly, where he recorded a comfortable victory in 2:09.31. Khadeem Brathwaite finished second in 2:23.75. Belfon was disqualified from the race.

Nixon, 10, got his gold medals in the 100m backstroke and the 50m butterfly and freestyle events in the boys ten and under category. In each of those three races, Nixon beat the pair of Micah Alexander and Eli Edwards into second and third spots respectively. In the 200m individual medley, Alexander was able to flip the script as he swam to gold in a time of 2:56.27 – beating both Edwards and Nixon to the wall. Edwards finished second in 3:03.64. Nixon grabbed third spot in 3:03.86.

Goodridge, 17, won gold in the 400m freestyle and 200m backstroke. In the 200m backstroke, Goodridge pulled away from the field to win in 2:31.39. Keryn Burke placed second in 2:37.37.

Other winners on the day included Micah Alexander, Amari Ash, Josiah Changar, Sydney Fong Look, Riquelio Joseph, Amelia Rajack and Olympic swimmer Cherelle Thompson, who won gold in her 50m freestyle pet event.


"Zalayhar Lewis dominates on final day of Nat’l Open Short Course swimming"

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