Strong Performances Turned In At CCCAN

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

by Terry Finisterre

The 2024 edition of the Central American & Caribbean Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Championship ended over the weekend, 23 June, having started seven days prior.

The Mexican city of Monterrey was the host site for the XXXVI CCCAN meet, with over 750 swimmers from 30 territories engaged in heated competition. The meet included more than its fair share of challenges, especially for Caribbean teams, but there was a healthy dose of success as well.

Mexico ran away as overall winners, amassing 2,159.50 points, followed by Costa Rica with 791, and Trinidad and Tobago on 678. In sixth were Barbados (314 points), and 16th Saint Lucia (59 points).

On the medals table, Barbados were actually fifth, compiling 19 medals – six gold, nine silver, and four bronze. Saint Lucia obtained four medals (two gold, one silver, and one bronze) to land at the 11th spot.

For Barbados, Danielle Treasure took one of Barbados’ six gold medals in the women’s 18 & Over 200m backstroke. But it was Heidi Stoute whose stellar performance lifted her team. In the girls 13-14 division, she got five individual gold medals, sweeping all distances of the freestyle – 800m, 400m, 200m, 100m, and 50m.

Also in the 13-14 class, the versatile Jaiya Simmons is bringing home silver in the 100m freestyle, 200m butterfly, and 400m individual medley, and bronze in the 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly.

Stoute and Simmons also helped their girls 13-14 team, including Isabella Mayers and Toria Alleyne, to three relay silver medals, in the 800m freestyle, 400m freestyle, and 400m medley relay.

There was further joy in the girls 11-12, where Aliyah Greaves grabbed silver in the 50m backstroke, and Kaija Eastmond bronze in the 50m butterfly.

Among the boys, Mihael Sobers was able to acquire silver in the 200m backstroke for the 11-12 division. Victory Ashby also took silver in the 13-14 100m butterfly. And Alex Sobers was a bronze medallist in the 18 & Over 100m freestyle.

For Saint Lucia, the Bolles Academy duo of Antoine Destang and Tristan Dorville combined for all four medals in the boys 15-17 group. Destang got gold in the 100m butterfly, where Dorville was the silver medallist. Destang added a 50m butterfly gold, and a bronze in the 100m freestyle. 

The trip was a difficult one, with a tropical storm halting proceedings on Thursday and most of Friday. That meant that for many events, preliminaries were eliminated. 

According to team officials from several territories, the quality of the catering was subpar, and some contingents were forced to spend thousands of dollars ensuring their athletes were properly fed. 

The accommodation left something to be desired, with some teams unable to find rooms in the hotels they had originally booked, and athletes having to be moved from leaky rooms. 

More broadly, CCCAN has come under fire from multiple administrators on the issues of governance, integrity, and transparency.

Calls have been made for ratification of the organisation’s constitution, and for fresh elections to be called in the coming months.