Special golds rolled in

There were more medals for the Cayman athletes at the World Summer Games Special Olympics in Athens on Friday and Saturday.

The day started off well as Andrew Smilley cruising to an easy gold over 35 other competitors in the first ever open water sea swim as a Special Olympics event. “By the second buoy he was out front and he stayed there,” said his coach Penny McDowall. In the bocce Mark Ebanks rolled for gold in his singles final and he got a fourth place in the doubles competition with Elena Ow Lam.

In the pool, Quinton Ebanks swam a personal best in his 100 metres breaststroke preliminary with a time of 1 minute 42.34 seconds. In the afternoon he gained a bronze medal in the 100m individual medley, performing the fly, back, breast and freestyle strokes to a time of 1:44.95 and then a bronze in the breaststroke.

At the track Matthew Ebanks and Andrew Hayles both placed fourth in their 200m finals, with times of 25.46secs and 27.24secs respectively. Cindy Whittaker had a difficult start on her 100m and while she made a valiant effort to recover she ended up placing sixth with a time of 14.89secs. Newcomer to the Special Olympics team was Shanike Ebanks who also got personal best in her 100m placing fifth with a time of 21.96secs.

In the 4x100m relay, the team placed fifth with a personal best of 1 minute 5.37 seconds.

Delegation head Toni Johnson said: “No athlete has given less than his or her absolute best and of that we are very proud. It is great to see them interacting with their fellow athletes giving and receiving encouragement with a flurry of fist bumps, hugs and gestures.

“They are wheeling and dealing and trading pins and making friends wherever they go. Indeed great ambassadors for the Cayman Islands.

The day started off well as Andrew Smilley cruising to an easy gold over 35 other competitors in the first ever open water sea swim as a Special Olympics event.

1 COMMENT

  1. I had the pleasure to watch Andrew Smilley compete in the 1.5-kilometer swim in the warm, clear waters of the Bay of Marathon in the Aegean Sea, close to where the very first swimming competition was held during the 1896 Athens Olympics.

    Andrew faced serious competition against some fast Koreans and Australians. There were a few swimmers who had faster 800-meter times than Andrew in the pool, but when Andrew took to the salt water of the Aegean Sea, his natural sea-swimming abilities shined brightly.

    From my observations, Andrew won due to his great navigational IQ. He easily swam the best and straightest lines along the two-loop rectangle course and he paced himself well throughout.

    His teammates, family, friends and countrymen should be quite proud of him and his humble nature on top of the podium.