Veracruz, Mexico, November 15, 2014 – The Central American and Caribbean Games’ (CAC) swim competition began today in Veracruz, Mexico, albeit with far fewer athletes than originally listed on the psych sheets. Marquis swimmers George Bovell (TTO) and Alia Atkinson (JAM) were not in attendance today, and the men’s 4 x 200 free relay scheduled for today was actually canceled due to the low number of entrants in the event.
However, the swimmers who did partake produced notable results in their own right, as the night saw the finals of the women’s 400m freestyle, 50m breaststroke, and 100m breaststroke, while the men’s finals included the 200m butterfly and 100m freestyle.
The first final of the evening was the women’s 400 freestyle, won by Venezuela’s Andreina Pinto in a time of 4:11.65; an improvement off her prelim time of 4:18.29 and dangerously close to the CAC games record in this event. Pinto holds that record – 4:11.36 – which she set at the 2010 edition of the games held in Puerto Rico. Tonight, her gold-winning time was followed by Joanna Evans of the Bahamas, who earned second (4:16.82) and third place finisher Natalia Jaspeado of Mexico (4:17.43).
24-year-old Maria Fernanda Gonzalez from Mexico went on to win the 50m backstroke, earning the gold medal in a time of 29.03. Gonzalez’s finals time was just off her swift 28.77 from this morning, which was not only the fastest of the prelims, but also set a new CAC Games record in this event. The previous record stood at 29.18, set by Guatemala’s Grisela Morales at the 2010 edition of the CAC Games.
The women’s 100m breaststroke final saw a first and third place finish by two Venezuelans. The gold medal was narrowly won by Mercedes Toledo in a time of 1:10.83, while her countryman Karina Vivas snagged the bronze in 1:12.72. The bronze medalist from the 2010 version of these games, Byanca Rodriguez, earned the silver medal this year, but in almost the exact same time – 1:10.96 in 2010 (at only 16 years of age) and 1:10.97 tonight.
The men kicked off their events of the night with the 200m butterfly finals. 23-year-old Andres Felipe Montoya from Colombia claimed the gold with a winning time of 1:59.35, followed by Marcos Lavado’s (Venezuela) 2:00.44 for silver, and Jose Angel Martinez’s (Mexico) 2:01.26 for bronze.
The 100m freestyle final was up next for the men, were Cuban Hanser Garcia won convincingly with a new CAC Games record of 49.00. The previous record was held by Venezuela’s Albert Subirats (49.55) set back at the games in 2006; Subirats is also the defending gold medalist from the 2010 edition of the games. However, in this year’s event. Subirats’ time of 50.52 earned him a bronze, while Cristian Quintero (Venezuela) touched in 49.66 to grab the silver medal.
Prelims begin tomorrow at 10:00am local time, with the women contesting the 200m freestyle, 50m butterfly and the 100m backstroke. The men will compete in the 100m breaststroke, 1500m freestyle, and 200m IM.