T&T's Dylan Carter named men's overall series winner for 2022 FINA Swimming World Cup

By November 08, 2022

Trinidad & Tobago’s Dylan Carter has been named the men’s overall series winner for the 2022 FINA Swimming World Cup.

The 26-year-old Carter won an impressive nine gold medals over the three stops in the event to finish with a final score of 172.6 points.

The three legs for this year’s World Cup were Berlin from October 21-23, Toronto from October 28-30 and Indianapolis from November 3-5. The Trinidadian won gold medals in the 50m backstroke, 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly at all three stops for nine golds in total.

In the backstroke, not only did Carter win three golds, he also lowered the Trinidadian national record three times, swimming 23.15 in Berlin, 22.94 in Toronto and 22.72 in Indianapolis.

He also broke the national record in the freestyle twice with times of 20.77 in Berlin and 20.72 in Indianapolis.

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  • Tornadoes Swim Club revels in 2022 national sports awards success Tornadoes Swim Club revels in 2022 national sports awards success

    The three awards won at the recent 2022 RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards have come as a boon of motivation for both athletes and members of the coaching staff of the Tornadoes Swim Club.

    On Friday, January 20, three swimmers of the Kingston-based club were recipients of a national award for their successes in both swimming and triathlon over the past year.

    Leading the pack in swimming is the now overseas-based,18 -year-old Sabrina Lyn, former Tornadoes Swim Club member, who copped the 2022 Female Swimmer of the Year Award following gold medal performances at the 2022 Carifta Swimming Championships where she also set a personal best time the 100m Butterfly and set a meet record in the relay.

    Lyn also won gold and other medals at the inaugural Caribbean Games held in Guadeloupe and set the 200m record in the butterfly at the CCAN Swimming Championship in Barbados.

    The talented young swimmer, who was recently accepted to Louisiana State University (LSU) said that receiving the award has been a “very honouring experience”. She said that she felt inspired to walk in the footsteps of Jamaica’s swimming doyenne Alia Atkinson who also received the national honour.

    “This makes me feel like I am on track to represent Jamaica and my club and to walk in her footsteps on the Olympic stage,” she said.

    Female Triathlete of the Year is Rihanna Gayle copped first place at the the Jamaica National Championship Triathlon and was a silver medalist in the CARIFTA Aquathlon in Bermuda last November.

    Gayle also secured silver in the World Triathlon Development Regional Cup hosted in Santa Domingo in October 2022.

    “It was a big motivation for me to be there at the ceremony and to be recognized among all the great athletes in Jamaica,” said the 17-year-old, who is a student at the St. Andrew High School for Girls.

    “Triathlon is a unique sport, and it takes a lot of work, but I am also willing to work hard to accomplish more and to go further in the Triathlon.”

    Sixteen-year-old Israel Allen, a student at Jamaica College and National Triathlon Champion, was elated to receive the Male award and is proud of his achievements in the sport.

    Allen has represented Jamaica on various occasions in both competitive swimming and triathlon and has won several awards including a bronze medal for Jamaica at the 2022 CARIFTA Aquathlon.

    Head Coach of the Tornadoes, Wendy Lee was in a jubilant mood following last Friday’s announcements and hailed the success of the three awardees who she says, “Have been striving towards excellence since they were eight years old.”

     “These awards are indeed a physical manifestation of the hard work that we continue put in to producing Jamaica’s best aquatics athletes and as head coach, I am extremely proud of the strides that all our athletes are taking led of course by Sabrina, Rihanna, and Israel,” Lee said.

    She credits the round of successes the club secured in 2022 to the holistic approach that the club takes to athlete development.

    “All of our swimmers are actively pursuing big goals both in and outside of the pool,” Lee said.

    “We are committed to age-appropriate training of the highest standards for all our swimmers, and we are truly honoured to continue to facilitate and nurture this tradition of excellence.”

    In 2022, the Tornadoes secured victory in seven of nine local meets and are already preparing for what is expected to be continued success in 2023.

  • Trinidadian Olympian swimmer Cherelle Thompson encourages athletes to seize the moment Trinidadian Olympian swimmer Cherelle Thompson encourages athletes to seize the moment

    Olympic swimmer Cherelle Thompson on Thursday encouraged Trinidadian athletes to seize the moment, as she spoke candidly about her struggles with injury, adapting to college life and trying to stay positive during the Covid19 pandemic during her feature address at the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee Annual Awards.

    Thompson, 30, represented Trinidad and Tobago in the women’s 50-metre freestyle event at the 2020 Olympics, which was held last year because of the pandemic. She is the national record holder in the women’s 50m freestyle for both the long course (50m) and short course (25m).

    Reflecting on her challenges, Thompson, a former student of the University of Tennessee, said “We all know the pursuit did not come without threat to the life of my dream. It was many years before I could make it onto the Olympic stage and time would not permit me to share the details of the chapters from that defining moment to the point where I would make it to the blocks in Tokyo.

    Faith also got her through dark times. “What I could say though is that it was a long, long road with many defining moments and it was only through reflection that these experiences, by the grace of God, I was able to find reasons to be grateful and wonder amidst the ashes of disappointment and difficulty.”

    Thompson said her first "last straw” was a shoulder injury which a surgeon said was “one of the worst they had ever seen.”

    On her experience studying in the USA while advancing her swimming career, Thompson said it was not a bed of roses. “I cried buckets of tears being homesick and (not) finding a way to adapt to the new demand of academics and athletics.”

    The adversity did not end there for Thompson. “The second shoulder injury came sometime after, then major disappointment and retirement (temporarily), sitting out for some time after missing out on Rio (Olympics) 2016."

    Covid19 had put the careers of athletes on pause and Thompson was no different.

    “Let’s fast forward to March 2020 to that time in history. Imagine what it would have felt like when the announcement came for the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Games. I was set to begin medical school later that year and the world was in a state uncertainty with a glimmer of hope that things would improve for the games to be held 12 months later (in July/August 2021).”

    Thompson saw her dreams fading. “At this point I was convinced that I had no more straws. All I had was a dream in my heart and a passion for sport, and I placed that into God’s hands. The rest is history.”

    Thompson made her Olympic debut competing in her strongest event – the 50m freestyle – placing 41st overall with a time of 26.19 seconds.

    She urged all athletes to cherish every moment. “The question that none of us could answer is whether this would be our last competition, our last season, our last breath. All things considered, we know not what the future holds…take each opportunity to compete and engage in this thing called sport as a gift.”

    Looking ahead to 2023, Thompson said, “No matter the stage of our journey, may we all transition into 2023 with our minds fixed and fortified, our bodies prepared to fight, and in our hearts a posture of gratitude and wonder to seize each moment as it were our last.”

    Thompson also thanked retired two-time TT Olympic swimmer Sharntelle McLean for inspiring her.

  • Dead at 75, Carmen Clarke remembered as a source of inspiration for Jamaica's athletes Dead at 75, Carmen Clarke remembered as a source of inspiration for Jamaica's athletes

    Carmen Clarke’s sudden passing, mere days after her 75th birthday, sent shock waves throughout Jamaica’s sporting fraternity. Clarke lost her brief battle with cancer on December 17.

    A regular fixture at track meets, swim meets and netball tournaments, many persons were curious as to who was this bald woman always immaculately attired, not realizing the giant she was behind the scenes.

    For those who knew her, many of whom rank among Jamaica’s elite athletes, her death has left a gaping hole that can never be filled.

    Carmen was born in Duckenfield, St Thomas, on November 26, 1947. She was the only child for her mother Myrtle Whynn, who took her to live in the United Kingdom when she was only 12 years old.

    After more than a decade there during which she attended college, Carmen returned to Jamaica where she worked at the now defunct Daily News newspaper. However, her work was not limited to media as over time she became the public relations manager at Carreras Limited where she worked for many years before transitioning into entrepreneurship. She also contributed significantly to Jamaica AIDS Support and the church. Quite naturally, Carmen was also a member of the board of the National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards. 

    A stickler for discipline, Carmen was a no-nonsense woman who has been described by relatives and friends alike as fearless, humble, inspiring, brave, trustworthy and a good listener, all attributes suited for the role of ‘mother’ and mentor to many of Jamaica’s top athletes.

    “Carmen will most definitely be missed,” said Juliet Campbell, who competed for Jamaica at the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.

    “I know first-hand the impact that she has had on a lot of our superstar athletes. She has nurtured a lot, she has encouraged, she has been a part of teams. She has been a part of the athletic community for such a long time and she will be missed dearly.

    “She was no-nonsense but she loved these kids.”

    A list of the ‘kids’ reads like a who’s who in Jamaica’s track and field. Among them were Olympians Veronica Campbell-Brown, Merlene Ottey, Raymond Stewart, Danny McFarlane, Juliet Cuthbert, Usain Bolt, Juliet Campbell, Aleen Bailey, Elva Goulbourne-Rose, Asafa Powell, Michael Frater, Brigitte Foster-Hylton and many others.

    Seven-time Carifta champion and 2004 Olympic relay gold medalist, Aleen Bailey, said she was thrown for a loop when she heard of Carmen’s passing, shared just how much of an influence she was.

    “She was the Olivia Pope of Jamaica for us athletes, and not just Jamaican athletes, she has been a blessing in lives across the globe,” Bailey said.

    “If you need anything fixed, advice, tough love, support or you need to get out of a tough situation, we call Aunty Carmen.

    “My first encounter was when I made my first junior team. She was the one that taught us how to present ourselves when representing the country. She was also the reason we got to host World Juniors (2002).”

    Bailey, a member of Jamaica’s gold-medal winning sprint-relay team at the Beijing Olympics, was a senior member in the Jamaican team in 2008 and was like a mother-figure to the many new stars like Shelly-Ann Fraser, Usain Bolt and Melaine Walker, helping keep things together when the lights shone brightly on the island's breakout talents.

    However, it wasn’t always like that for her. There was a time during a global championship when she was the one in need of comfort and guidance and Carmen came to her aid.

     “I remember at the World Championships, some people were mean to me and I was hiding in my room and wasn't eating. Deon Hemmings was my roommate. She found Aunty Carmen and told her what was going on. She came to that hotel, barged into the room got me out of bed, made me shower and told me she will be picking me up every day.

    “She was whatever we wanted her to be, she cooked for us, washed our clothes, hugs when we needed it. She always wanted the best for everyone she meets.”

    Carmen’s influence was not limited to Jamaica’s track and field elite. She was also a tremendous influence on the women in Jamaica’s netball.

    “You were the light of our lives. On behalf of the Sunshine Girls who you took under your wings, thanks Miss Carmen, Aunty Carmen as the ones from XLCR (Excelsior High School) called you,” Marva Bernard, past president of Netball Jamaica posted in a tribute on Facebook.

    Former media worker and civil servant Gillian Haughton, who describes herself as Carmen’s sister-friend, in a post on Facebook shared just how much of an influence Carmen was to her son, swimmer Nicholas Haughton, a recent graduate of Howard University.

    “Carmen Clarke always made the effort to attend Nick's swim meets. She made the extra effort to join us at his first CARIFTA Open Water Swim trials at Puerto Seco,” she posted about the relationship between her Campion College alum and Carmen.

    “For the four years he went away for school, Carmen Clarke's apartment was his last stop before the airport so he could get his massage.”

    It was perhaps former Jamaica shot put thrower Zara Northover’s Facebook post that best sums up who Carmen Clarke was and what she meant to so many.

     “Auntie Carmen Clarke.  You saw me at all times and encouraged me to pursue at all costs,” Northover said.

    “You advocated for me in rooms I was not present and you prayed prayers I know God saw fit to answer.  You are loved, you are missed, you are love and light. Thank you for being a source of inspiration and comfort.  I love you and will never forget the impact you’ve had on my life and the countless others you’ve encountered. Rest in Heaven and thank you in advance for watching down on us all from up above.”

    Carmen leaves behind brothers Lloyd and Linval Clarke as well as a sister, Beverley.

     

     

     

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