Six Medals In Caribbean Champs in Cuba

June 30, 2010

[Updated] Hot on the heels of a five-medal performance by 10 year old swimmer Mitch Gariepy in Florida, local swimmers continue to pile up the medals with four more Bermudians capturing six medals in an international field; this time at the 2010 Caribbean Island Swimming Championships in Cuba.

In her international debut for Bermuda, Lisa Blackburn an dropped an amazing 7 seconds from her fastest time so far this season to capture the gold medal in the 18 and over age group. The former member of the Canadian National team has returned home to Bermuda and has put her nose to the grindstone to prepare for competition for Bermuda, recently breaking a national record held by Jennifer Smatt. Ms Blackburn is a breaststroke specialist who also excels in all the other strokes.

She was followed up by two time Olympian Kiera Aitken winning the 100 metre backstroke, with fellow Bermudian Rebecca Sharpe hot on her heals taking the silver. Last year Ms Aitken literally broke and re-broke almost every female record that we have and was rewarded with the female athlete of the year award again. Rebecca Sharpe has been competing at a high level, breaking records and winning medals since she was an age group swimmer. Last year she won 3 gold medals and set Carifta records and followed that up by competing at the World Championships in Rome, Italy.

These three ladies, as well as Johns Hopkins University swimmer Eleanor Gardner, make up Bermuda’s relay team which is projected to be highly competitive in this competition.

Update 10:40am: Day 2 results are in, and saw Bermuda win three more medals; Kiera Aitken and Roy Burch won bronze medals, while Lisa Blackburn continued the previous day exploits by winning Gold again. Also competing for Bermuda were; Rebecca Heyliger in the 15 – 17 age group, Eleanor Gardner in the 18 & over group, Morgan Hopkins in the 15 – 17 age group and Julian Fletcher in the 18 & over age group.

Lisa Blackburn. Photo credit Doug Patterson

Lisa Blackburn. Photo credit Doug Patterson (file photo)


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These medals come only in the two day of competition, and Mr. Ben Smith, Aquatics Manager/National Swimming Coach projected the island’s swimmers may win more hardware saying he hopes for more chances for medals.
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Bermuda sent a 10 strong team of 10 to compete in Havana City, Cuba in the meet will be held from June 28th to July 2nd. The team travelled to Florida for training in a 50 meter pool and final meet preparation before travelling to Cuba on June 26th. Representing Bermuda in Cuba are: Emma Franklin: Morgan Hopkins, Rebecca Heyliger, Eleanor Gardner, Rebecca Sharpe, Kiera Aitken, Lisa Blackburn, Nick Thomson, Julian Fletcher, Roy Allan Burch and Emma Franklin.
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In addition to Bermuda, 19 islands were invited to the 2010 Caribbean Championships: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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