MARTIN BREAKS TWO MORE CARIFTA RECORDS; BOISSON-YATES TAKES SILVER MEDAL IN 200 IM

MARTIN BREAKS TWO MORE CARIFTA RECORDS; BOISSON-YATES TAKES SILVER MEDAL IN 200 IM


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

Golden Girl Tyla Martin of the Coral Springs Swim Club continued her record-breaking, winning ways Monday night at the 35th annual CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Kingston, Jamaica.

Martin, 12, representing Trinidad and Tobago, won two more events and broke two more meet records in the National Stadium Olympic Pool.

In three days, the national record holder has won nine gold medals and broken seven meet records, giving Trinidad and Tobago an insurmountable team lead going into today’s final day of competition.

Martin won the 11-12 200-meter individual medley in a meet record and lifetime-best 2 minutes, 27.95 seconds. The previous meet record was 2:31.57. Martin was the top morning qualifier in 2:32.06. Martin’s previous best time was 2:30.57.

Martin finished more than a body length ahead of runner-up Coral Tomascik, 12, of the Cayman Islands in 2:36.55.

Eleven events later, Martin won the 11-12 100-meter freestyle in a record and lifetime best 1:01.74, breaking the previous meet record of 1:02.03 set in 1995. Her previous career-best time was 1:02.78 and her prelim time was 1:04.23.

No one has been happier with Martin’s impressive swims than her coach, Coral Springs Swim Club age group coach Bruno Darzi.

Darzi has been keeping in touch with his swimmer by email and text messaging before and after each of her swims about her warm-ups for prelims and finals, race strategy and how to handle the meet pressure and attention from the media and her team.

“I knew she was ready for this kind of meet based on the way she has been practicing,” Darzi said Monday. “I am not surprised at how well she is doing. We had hoped we had done the right things for her and it looks like so far we did.”

The biggest challenge for Martin has been swimming long course meters after training primarily short course in the winter.

“She prepared herself differently, she pretty much trained for this meet,” Darzi said. “We knew she would swim this many events because this is how many she qualified for in December in Trinidad and Tobago. She can handle this kind of schedule, she is a tough little girl.”

Martin, who said before the meet she expected to be nervous, has been faced with a few butterflies and is learning how to handle them. She has become one of the meet’s most popular and talked about swimmers.

“This is one of the best meets she has had,” Darzi said. “She definitely has the potential to be a really good swimmer. The hardest thing for her right now is handling the pressure from the attention.”

It is only Martin’s second international meet and first CARIFTA which is the age group championships for the Caribbean featuring more than 500 swimmers and 17 countries.

Darzi said she will take a week off after CARIFTA before resuming long course training for summer JOs and Zones.

“Each day she has been swimming better and better,” Darzi said. “She is getting more comfortable with the competition. She knows what she needs to focus on, what needs to be done and what she needs to work on.”

In the boys competition, Keegan Boisson-Yates, 14, also of the Coral Springs Swim Club and Trinidad and Tobago, finished second in the 13-14 200-meter individual medley in a career-best 2:20.01. His previous best time was 2:25:25. He had bettered his lifetime best first in prelims in 2:23.24. Jordy Groters, 13, of Aruba won the event in 2:17.51.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4comets.com

http://www.csscswim.com