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Elijah Daley and Sam Williamson thrilled with bronze at CCCAN Championships

Elijah Daley on the podium after winning a bronze medal at CCCAN Championships

Elijah Daley and Sam Williamson have expressed their delight at winning bronze medals at the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships in Mexico.

Canadian-based Daley enjoyed success in the 15-17 age group for the 200 metres individual medley, while Williamson, a student at the University of Bath in England, appeared on the podium in the same event in the 18 and over age group.

Daley, who also won medals at the Carifta Championship this year, was delighted to pick up more hardware

“It’s very surreal for me and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to be able to represent Bermuda,’’ Daley told The Royal Gazette.

“I was really glad with the result and that I was able to win a medal for Bermuda. The circumstances here are a little different from what I’m used to, but it was good for me. I’m glad with my time and the result and I’m really happy with how it went.

“My target is to just do my best to represent my country. I feel a lot of pride in representing Bermuda and I always want to do my best.

“I don’t have any targets in terms of medals I want to win here. I just want to go best times and race as well as I can.

“I’m doing seven events altogether, so I'm just going to keep trying to win a medal in each of those events.”

Daley is keen to improve on his finish, which he believes cost him the silver medal on Monday.

“I was really close to the silver medal, but it was just the last 50 metres,’’ he said.

“The last bit of the race I really didn’t have enough energy to get me there. I’m just going to keep training and hopefully, next time I can do what I need to at the end of the race.”

Bermuda is represented by 19 swimmers at the annual regional meet after Madelyn Moore and Finn Moseley withdrew from the initial squad of 21 and Daley spoke of the team spirit among the island’s swimmers in Mexico.

“The morale’s been high and everybody’s really positive,’’ Daley said.

“Everybody is trying their best to do the island proud.”

As for Williamson, he went into his medal-winning event not expecting to make it to the podium.

“Obviously it’s very nice to win a medal for Bermuda and I wasn't really expecting it,” Williamson said.

“I was really happy to come away with the bronze as I wasn't ranked in the medal positions to start with in any of the races.

“I know that if I reach the finals I've got a chance, so that’s why I gave it my best shot on Monday, and I was pretty happy to come third.”

Reflecting on his race, the 20-year-old Williamson felt the weather conditions in Mexico were difficult to compete in.

“It wasn't my best swim so I was a little disappointed not to have gone a bit faster,’’ he said.

“I can’t complain and the swim gave me a bronze medal so it’s still good in my books. I was just a second off my personal-best time but it’s a little bit hot here and the conditions are a bit tough. Coming down to the swim, I didn't get the technique right, I got nervous before the race and that took over.

“In the future I reckon I just need to stay calm, trust my stroke and my swimming.”

With Olympic qualification out of reach, Williamson did not race under as much pressure as race winner Erick Gordillo, of Guatemala, and runner-up, Maximiliano Cuevas, of Mexico.

“Their aims were a little different,’’ he said.

“They were going for Olympic times, which are not within my reach just yet. Having said that, they’re very good swimmers and they have been in the age group longer than me.

“They’re a little bit older and they have more experience in this type of race, but I feel in the next couple of years I can get to where they are.

“I think I’ll be going to the CCCAN Championships for the next four years. My aim is the 2028 Olympics, so I’ll definitely be swimming until then.”

Williamson has been going to the championships since the age of 11 and is grateful for the backing he has received over the years.

“Team Bermuda’s got great support and they’re always checking on me to see how I'm doing at university,” Williamson said.

“The support I get is also great. They know everything that’s going on, they know where I'm at and where I'm training and racing, even though I’m in the UK.

“When we come together to represent Bermuda, it’s like we never left. We all just link up which is really nice.”

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Published June 19, 2024 at 1:32 pm (Updated June 20, 2024 at 8:27 am)

Elijah Daley and Sam Williamson thrilled with bronze at CCCAN Championships

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