Matthew Ward, Nikoli Blackman Wrap Up 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games With More Gold


The 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games saw its swimming action wrap up from the National Aquatic Center in Couva last night.

When all was said and done, the nation of England wound up atop the overall medal table, amassing 23 pieces of hardware, including 9 golds, 10 silvers and 4 bronze.

Australia was next in line with 20 overall medals, including 7 golds, while Scotland rounded out the top three finishers with 11 medals, including 7 golds.

Host nation Trinidad & Tobago captured 4 gold medals in the competition, with the final top prize coming in the boys’ 50m freestyle.

Following up on his earlier victories in both the 100m and 200m freestyle events, 18-year-old Nikoli Blackman fired off a time of 22.36 to take the 50m free sprint.

Blackman got on the board ahead of Bahamas’ Marvin Johnson, Jr. who settled for silver in 22.54, while TTO teammate Zarek Wilson bagged bronze in 22.95.

Saving his best performance for last, Li Goh gave his nation of Malaysia its first medal of these Games and it was gold.

17-year-old Goh punched a result of 2:03.63 in the boys’ 200m butterfly to narrowly defeated Reuben Rowbotham-Keating of England who got to the wall only .21 behind in 2:03.84.

Well back but still securing bronze was South Africa’s Jarden Eaton who notched a mark of 2:06.07.

The girls’ 200m fly saw Australian Mikayla Bird round up her fourth individual medal of these Games. Bird topped this event’s podium in a result of 2:12.66.

Bird’s performance checked in as the 2nd-fastest time of her young career, sitting only behind the 2:12.20 she put up at this year’s New South Wales State Open Championships.

Bird had already claimed golds in the 100m and 200m fly and bronze medals in the 50m fly and 200m freestyle races.

The final night of swimming saw one Games Record bite the dust, courtesy of Skye Carter in the girls’ 50m freestyle.

Carter of England logged a winning result of 25.15, which overtook the prior Games Record of 25.19 Australia’s Ami Matsuo put on the books over a decade ago in 2011.

Welsh ace Theodora Taylor wrangled up her impressive 5th individual medal of this competition en route to silver in 25.54. Australia’s Inez Miller also added to her haul, with her bronze medal-worthy outing of 25.59 adding to the other 3 medals she had already collected here.

Scotland’s Matthew Ward continued his winning streak in Couva. On the heels of his sweep of the backstroke events, Ward earned the victory in the boys’ 200m IM.

Ward hit a time of 2:01.70 to defeat the field handily, with the next-closest swimmer Kian Keylock of South Africa next in line with 2:03.84. Kiwi swimmer Kevin Zhang turned in a tie of 2:04.42 as the bronze medalist.

As for Ward, his time was within striking distance of his personal best of 2:01.17, a time he put up at this year’s European Junior Championships when he earned bronze.

Additional Winners

  • Australian Hannah Erin Allen collected gold in the girls’ 800m freestyle in a time of 8:48.66, the sole outing of the field under the 9:00 barrier
  • Northern Ireland went 1-2 in the girls’ 200m IM, with Ellie McCartney posting 2:15.65 for gold while teammate Grace Davison nabbed silver in 2:18.75. Taylor earned bronze in 2:19.59 to round out the top 3.

Final Swimming Medal Table at the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games

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10 months ago

Pretty sure that’s a 16-year old national record for Skye, breaking Evie Davis’s best.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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