Alia Atkinson leads youthful Jamaica team into competition at CAC Games

By July 19, 2018
Alia Atkinson will be hoping to add to her CAC medal tally when action begins in the pool at the 2018 CAC Games on Friday. Alia Atkinson will be hoping to add to her CAC medal tally when action begins in the pool at the 2018 CAC Games on Friday.

When the action gets underway on Friday, July 20, in Barranquilla, Colombia, at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games, Team Jamaica will be led by three-time Olympian Alia Atkinson.

The team will also be seeking to add to their overall medal count of 20 after missing out on the 2014 games in Veracruz, Mexico.

Atkinson leads the CARIFTA region with the most gold medals, seven from two Championships in 2006 and 2010.

Second on that list is another legend of the CARIFTA region Olympian Carolyn Adel (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000) of Suriname who won six gold medals at the 1998 Games in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Atkinson is also two medals away becoming the swimmer with the most medals from the CARIFTA region, a record held by another regional swimming icon, three-time Olympian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of The Bahamas who also has six gold medals and 11 medals overall.

Atkinson was also the first gold medalist in the 50-metre breaststroke and 50-metre butterfly events. The events were introduced when she made her debut at the 2006 Games in Colombia. She holds the championship records in the 50-metre breaststroke (31.91); 1100-metre breaststroke (1:10.24) and 200 IM (2:17.31).

Also among the Jamaican contingent are Keanan Dols and Michael Gunning who have represented Jamaica at the senior team level but are only now making their debuts at the CAC Games.

Dols represented Jamaica at the 2016 World Short-Course Swimming Championships in Windsor, Canada where he set three national records.

At the junior level, he has represented the country at the 2015 World Junior Championships in Singapore and also at the CARIFTA level where he set several championship records.

Gunning represented Jamaica at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary and at the 2017 World University Games. He holds national records in the 200 and 400-metre freestyle as well as the 200 metre butterfly events.

Also making his debut at the multi-sport Games will be Michael’s brother Luke, who will be donning the national colours for the first time at any level.

Fresh from outstanding regional junior performances in 2018 and making their senior team debuts will be Bryanna Renuart and Emily MacDonald. Both claimed regional Golden Doubles (CARIFTA and CCCAN) Renuart in the 15-17 400-metre individual medley and MacDonald in the 13-14 50 and 100-metre freestyle events.

For MacDonald, both gold medals were claimed in championship-record time.

The team is being coached by Miss Gillian Millwood

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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