Cayman Islands boxer Tafari Ebanks finally gets to show off his jabs in Mexico.
Ebanks, 20, will fight 23-year-old Hector Luis Garcia of the Dominican Republic on Monday at the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games. The contest, part of the quarterfinals for the Men’s 56-kilogram bantamweight division, is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Mexico time or 5:30 p.m. Cayman time at the World Trade Center in Veracruz. Ebanks had a first-round bye in the competition while Garcia defeated Colombian Luis Miguel Ruiz, 21, last Friday by unanimous decision. A victory for Ebanks would propel him into the semifinals on Tuesday, with a chance to earn a medal.
Ebanks’s fight comes after local athletes officially launched into action last Friday. Swimmer Catriona MacRae, 16, finished 14th in the Women’s 10-kilometer marathon swimming event at Regatas Beach. Her time of two hours, 18 minutes and 36.3 seconds was about 19 minutes off first-place finisher Montserrat Ortuno, 21, of Mexico and her mark of 1:59:18.9. Paola Perez, 23, of Venezuela won the silver medal in 1:59:30.2 and Zaira Cardenas, 25, of Mexico took bronze in 2:02.33.0.
The Cayman Islands Olympic Committee noted that MacRae just missed out on a berth in next year’s Pan-American Games, saying, “Congratulations to open water swimmer Catriona MacRae for finishing 14th in the women’s 10K. Catriona competed but unfortunately missed out on qualifying for Pan Ams, in which she had to place seventh. The Caymanian swimmer is staying positive having enjoyed her event and stay in Mexico.”
News about the Cayman athletes comes after the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees and the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation announced plans to broaden participation requirements for competing countries at the CAC Games. The result is that countries without national Olympic committees – such as Martinique, Guadeloupe and Curacao – can now take part.