Cayman athletes have picked up a slew of medals over the first few days of competition at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.
Tessa Terry grabbed Cayman’s first, and so far only, gold medal of the games, turning in a time of 43.84 seconds in the 200 meter run on Saturday.
In other track and field events, Chelsea Frederick took silver in the mini javelin and Beaver Julius Smith won the bronze in the 1,500 meter run. Jordon McLean was seventh in the 200 meter run.
The first official day of competition was Friday, when many of the 190-plus nations and 7,500 athletes had their first chances to test their mettle.
Cayman’s unified basketball team, which took home a bronze medal four years ago at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, got off to a strong start. Cayman defeated Iraq’s team by a 14-13 score and later got back onto the court to defeat Algeria by a 27-16 final score. On Saturday, the team fell to Bharat (India) 39-27, but it beat Namibia on Sunday 22-12 and now advances to the medal round.
So far, swimmers have made the biggest mark for the team, some in the pool and others in open water.
In the 1,500 meter open water event, Kanza Bodden and unified partner Jennifer Powell finished second. Rasheed Lawrence, with unified partner Lee Hart, was third in the event.
Poolside, both Dayana Powery and Keanu McKenzie had one silver and one bronze each. Powery was second in the 200 meter individual medley and third in the 200 meter freestyle, while McKenzie took second in the 100 meter individual medley and third in the 200 meter individual medley.
Other swimmers included Matthew Javier, who was fourth in the 200 meter freestyle, and Anechell Newman, seventh in the 50 freestyle.
In bocce ball, Khalid Arana finished fourth.
A few of Cayman’s athletes performed before Thursday’s Opening Ceremonies.
In the pool, Anechell Newman swam a preliminary round of the 50-meter backstroke in 1:47.17 on Tuesday and a 50-meter freestyle leg of 1:28.65 on Wednesday. Alec Brice Cox was also active for Cayman, swimming a 4x50m medley relay preliminary in a time of 2:55.23 on Wednesday.
In athletics, Chelsea Frederick tossed the shot put 9.55 meters in a preliminary round on Tuesday and competed in a preliminary round of the mini javelin on Wednesday.
Additional reporting by Compass reporter Mark Muckenfuss