Cayman won two sets of bronze medals on the squash courts at the 23rd Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia this week.
The first set of medals came in the Women’s Doubles competition by way of a hard-fought battle against Mexico. The Cayman team of Eilidh Bridgeman and Jade Pitcairn fell to their Mexican counterparts 5-11 and 4-11, putting them in a tie for third place with Guyana.
Cayman’s second set of bronze medals also came from the squash courts, this time in the Mixed Doubles division. After having lost the first match against Mexico 5-11, Cameron Stafford and Marlene West rallied back to win the second match 11-9. Stafford and West lost the third and final round 6-11, but tied with Guatemala for third place in the competition.
Bridgeman says she is extremely happy to have medaled in the Women’s Doubles division, which is thought to be a first for Cayman. “It feels so amazing to have medaled, it’s hard to put into words. I think we’re the first Ladies Doubles medal for Cayman, which makes it even more awesome.”
Bridgeman said although the men’s team did not medal, the entire team played hard throughout the games. “The boys had a tough one against Guatemala and in the mixed doubles it was very unfortunate that Cameron and Marlene couldn’t keep their seeding.”
Basking in their moment of triumph will be short-lived, however, as the squash players must now return to the courts to focus on individual matches.
Cayman’s sailors have not fared as well as the squash squad. The Men’s Single Handed Laser division wrapped up on Monday, with Shane McDermot finishing in 10th place and Jesse Jackson in 12th. McDermot and Jackson, both 19, were sailing against 15 other sailors.
Although this is McDermot’s second time at a CAC tournament, this was his first time sailing in the Men’s Single Handed Laser division, which he says proved to be a bit challenging. “I was in the Radial division with the youth, but since I am no longer in the youth division, I’m in the men’s division and they use a larger sail. With these conditions it was harder for me, since I’m smaller than the other guys, but it was still good for me.”
Jesse Jackson says even though he did not medal, he is still happy to be walking away with the new experience gained. “As my coach always says, first place medals aren’t given out – you have to go earn them.”
He added, “What I am taking away from this meet is that I can actually compete against these high-level sailors, because I was close to them, and so going forward I am going to put my best foot forward so I can go to other big events.”
In the Open Hobie 16 division, Florence Allan and her partner Alun Davies currently have 82 points and are ranked 8th out of 9 teams. Allan says the Open Hobie 16 was a new division for her and required having to partner up.
“I’m coming from the Laser, which is a single-handed boat, into a double-handed boat, which is obviously quite a challenge because you are sailing with someone else, you are relying on someone else to do things that you are normally in control of yourself,” she said. “This is the first regatta that we are sailing together in, so it’s been a bit of a challenge.”
Cayman’s next set of athletes to compete at the games will be the beach volleyball team. Those games are set to begin on July 28.