2022 CARIFTA SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
April 16th – April 20th
Wildey, Christ Church, Barbados
After a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Caribbean Free Trade Association Swimming Championships (CARIFTA) returned, with the 2022 edition hosted by Barbados.
A total of 24 nations took part in the multi-discipline competition, including Aruba, Bermuda, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and the U.S. Virgin Islands
When all was said and done, the nation of the Bahamas took home the overall swimming title, collecting a total of 975 points to beat out runners-up Jamaica who amassed 833.50 points. For the Bahamas, the 2022 title marks their fourth consecutive, earned with a haul of 14 gold medals, 22 silvers and 29 bronze.
On his team’s success, Bahamas Aquatics head coach Travano McPhee stated, “Very proud of these kids. Four straight is not easy.
“We came out on the first day and with a young team, they had to get the jitters out and get adapted to the crowd.
“Some of the younger swimmers showed some nerves, but they came back on the second day and they performed very well. We had a lot more medals, a lot more finals and that carried over to the next two days. But four straight is not easy. I’m very proud of this team. No other team or federation has ever done this.”
Highlights of individual performances included Caden Wells completing a sweep in the men’s age 13-14 breaststroke events. Wells snagged the 50m breast victory in a time of 31.22, the 100m breast in 1:08.71 and 200m breast in 2:32.15 for triple gold.
Marvin Johnson also did some damage for the Bahamas, nailing a winning effort of 23.31 to tie fellow 15-17 age grouper Nikoli Blackman of Trinidad of Tobago. both men came within striking distance of the CARIFTA record, a mark of 23.25 which Isaak Bastian put on the books in 2018.
On the women’s side, Keianna Moss grabbed a gold for the Bahamas, reaping the top prize in the 200m IM for 15-17-year-olds. The 16-year-old stopped the clock in 2:28.66 to make it a 1-2 finish for the nation, with teammate Kaylie Thompson earning silver in 2:28.78.