Lyons adds second CCCAN gold medal

Cadell Lyons im­proved gold medal tal­ly to two at the Cen­tral Amer­i­can and Caribbean Am­a­teur Swim­ming Con­fed­er­a­tion (CC­CAN) Cham­pi­onship at the Na­tion­al Aquat­ic Cen­tre, Wildey, St Michael, Bar­ba­dos, on Sun­day night.

Com­pet­ing in the 18 and Over Boys' 50m but­ter­fly, the 26-year-old Lyons touched the wall in 24.69 sec­onds to beat Pana­ma's Fran­co Reyes (24.83 sec­onds), and fel­low T&T swim­mer, Jeron Thomp­son (25.01) to sec­ond and third re­spec­tive­ly.


In ad­di­tion to Lyons' gold and Thomp­son's bronze, T&T swim­mers al­so added four sil­ver and five more third-place fin­ish­es for a three-day haul of 14 medals, (two gold, five sil­ver and sev­en bronze).

Lyons picked up his sec­ond in­di­vid­ual medal when he end­ed sec­ond in the 100m back­stroke in 59.32 sec­onds to trail Mex­i­can Car­los Godinez Gar­cia (58.61) while Bar­ba­di­an, Nicky Neck­les took bronze in 59.52. T&T's Josi­ah Parag end­ed sev­enth in one minute, 02.21 sec­onds.

Lyons al­so teamed up with Mark An­tho­ny Beck­les, Kegan Ford and Thomp­son for sil­ver in the 18 & Over Boys' 400m freestyle re­lay in three min­utes, 28.98 sec­onds, which was faster than the pre­vi­ous record of 3:29.49 set by Venezuela, ten years ago.

Pana­ma won with a new record splash of 3;28.13, and Mex­i­co end­ed third in 3:29.50.

The 13-14 Boys 4x1oo me­tres freestyle quar­tet of Nikoli Black­man, Aaron Stu­art, Kadon Williams and Zarek Wil­son com­bined for three min­utes, 45.62 sec­onds and sil­ver, with Mex­i­co tak­ing gold in a new record of 3:39.58, low­er­ing Venezuela's 2013 clock­ing of 3:40.23, with Pana­ma, third in 3:47.45.

Parag had much bet­ter for­tune in the 400m in­di­vid­ual med­ley in four min­utes, 54.78 sec­onds, well be­hind Mex­i­co's Car­los Kos­sio Mendez who won in 4:30.23, to bet­ter the old record of 4:34.61 set by Marce­lo Coas­ta last year while Puer­to Ri­can, got third in 5:04.31.

The bronze medal win­ners in­clud­ed USA-based Gabriele Don­ahue, Zarek Wil­son, Joy Black­et and both the boys and girls 15-17 freestyle 4x100 re­lay teams.

The 16-year-old Don­ahue got her sec­ond bronze in two days when she clocked five min­utes, 17.97 in the 15-17 Girls 400m in­di­vid­ual med­ley be­hind Mex­i­can duo, Car­de­nas Ro­driguez (5:07.67) and Sofia Chaves Cor­rales (5:15.37).


Wil­son, 13, got home in one minute, 57.68 for third in the 13-14 Boys 200m freestyle, just be­hind Mex­i­co's Ro­driguez Ramos Chavez (1:57.55) and Puer­to Ri­can, Josean Mas­suc­co (1:57.66), the first and sec­ond placed fin­ish­ers re­spec­tive­ly.

Black­ett se­cured her first medal of the cham­pi­onship with a bronze fin­ish in the 11-12 Girls 50m but­ter­fly in 31.04 sec­onds. Ja­maican Saidah Brown won in 30.76 with Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic's Ale­jan­fra, sec­ond in 31.02 and T&T's Amari Ash, sixth in 31.66.

Don­ahue then capped off her night by link­ing up with Ja­da Cha­toor, Deshor Ed­wards and Jah­mia Harley for bronze in the 15-17 Girls' 4x100 Freestyle re­lay in 4:06.85 while the Aqeel Joseph, Gabriel By­noe, Jae-Hwa Lee Wing, and Ma­lik Nel­son got a sim­i­lar plac­ing in the 15-17 Boys' equiv­a­lent in 3:36.94.

At the last two edi­tions of the CC­CAN Cham­pi­onships, T&T man­aged to fin­ish in the top two, in­clud­ing win­ning the over­all ti­tle on home soil in 2017 at the Na­tion­al Aquat­ic Cen­tre in Bal­main, Cou­va.

Back then, the Dy­lan Carter-in­spired T&T swim­ming con­tin­gent bagged 65 swim­ming medals (21 gold, 26 sil­ver and 18 bronze) for the sec­ond spot with 938.5 points, just be­hind win­ners Puer­to Ri­co (978 points) with 74 medals (32 gold, 19 sil­ver and 23 bronze).

How­ev­er, over­all, T&T tal­lied 1,259.5 com­bined points from the five dis­ci­plines (swim­ming, wa­ter po­lo, open wa­ter, syn­chro­nised swim­ming and div­ing) for the top spot, while Puer­to Ri­co was sec­ond with 1, 217 points.

This win by T&T marked the first time an Eng­lish-speak­ing coun­try had ever topped the over­all points ta­ble and it came via the all-around ef­fort of the 64-mem­ber team as well as the Open Wa­ter mem­bers, four wa­ter po­lo teams, two divers and the syn­chro­nised swim­mers. Last year, the team se­cured a sec­ond place fin­ish in Aru­ba.

Last year, T&T made his­to­ry when it emerged as the top team in the CC­CAN Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships for the first time ever with 649.5 points, ahead of Colom­bia (584 pts) and hosts Aru­ba (561.5 pts).

Af­ter three days of swim­ming in Bar­ba­dos, Mex­i­co is well ahead on the medals ta­ble with 60, 26 gold, 21 sil­ver and 13 bronze fol­lowed by Pana­ma, a dis­tant sec­ond with 16 medals, sev­en gold, four sil­ver and five bronze. The swim­ming seg­ment of the five dis­ci­pline com­pe­ti­tion con­cludes to­day while the Open Wa­ter events take place to­mor­row fol­lowed by Wa­ter Po­lo from Ju­ly 4 to 8.

Reporter: Nigel Simon

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