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Smith hails team’s record-breaking showing

Golden girls: Emma Kittleson, Josephne Duerden, Taylor White, Elan Daley

Ben Smith, the Bermuda head national swimming coach, has hailed the island’s best showing at the Carifta Swimming Championships.

Bermuda’s combined teams stacked up a remarkable 42 medals, set a new Carifta record, 27 Bermuda age group records and finished second overall among the participating nations at this year’s regional championships held in Barbados.

“This was an amazing competition overall for team Bermuda,” Smith said.

“The two-week training camp prior to travel allowed for the different swimmers from different clubs, schools and programs to join together as a cohesive 23 swimmer team.

“They had all worked hard to qualify and be selected for the team but it was the support for each other and confidence in the team that was important to build.

“In past years, we have been able to convert a high rate of medals for the swimmers that make finals which allowed us to reach a top-seven ranking.

“This year the difference was the depth of the team which allowed for more swimmers to reach finals where every final swim gains us valuable points.”

Bermuda’s medal haul was the most they have achieved, surpassing their previous best haul by three medals.

Elan Daley led the island’s charge with nine medals, including four gold, three silver and two bronze.

She also broke the Carifta 200 freestyle record twice en route to being crowned girls 13-14 high point champion.

Also claiming honours was Sam Williamson who won two gold, four silver and a bronze to finish as high point champion in the boys 13-14 division. Logan Watson-Brown and Elijah Daley, who earned eight medals between them which included two gold, finished as the runner up in the girls 15-17 and boys 11-12 divisions.

In all, Bermuda’s swimmers won 13 gold medals, 19 silver and ten bronze and also posted 98 personal best times.

Thanking all of those who contributed to the island’s overwhelming success, Smith added: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation for the government grant that helped to fund the team for this trip.

“The Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association overseas technical committee and board for selecting the swimmers for the team and all coaches that helped to prepare the swimmers for qualification and preparation for Carifta.

“Thank you to team managers Tori and Dominic Powell for the hard work and sleepless nights keeping the team fed, hydrated and at the right place at the right time wearing the correct uniforms.

“National coach Richard Goodwin played an important role in the lead up training camp and during the Championships that helped the team reach this amazing standard.

“Of course, I have to thank the swimmers that trained hard and competed well all season and then raised their level to reach personal best times, countless finals and a record number of medals.”

The contingent ended the championships with an impressive total 470 points in total — 266 for Bermuda-Associated Group, led by Williamson with 59 points, and 204 for Bermuda, led by Elan Daley with 80 points.