IGG: Gaskin’s brilliance fails to secure swimming title for Guyana
By Avenash Ramzan
Cheered on by a crowd that included his father, Business Minister Dominic Gaskin, Olympic swimmer Hannibal Gaskin turned in an almost flawless performance, but could not inspire Guyana to the overall swim title in the Inter-Guiana Goodwill Games on Sunday at the National Aquatic Centre, Lilliendaal.
Competing in scorching heat at the country’s premier swimming facility, Gaskin gave the crowd a demonstration of his ability, and further strengthened his claim as arguably the country’s brightest young talent in the pool.
As was widely anticipated, the 18-year-old Gaskin, who was one of Guyana’s representatives at the Rio Olympics earlier this year, was easily the country’s best swimmer on show, claiming four gold and two silver medals in the six races he competed in. Only one other Guyanese, 12-year-old Jadyn George, managed to cop a gold medal, winning the Girls 200m Freestyle.
Gaskin won all his individual events- the 200m IM (2:23:26s), 100m Butterfly (1:00:56s), 50m Butterfly (27:12s) and 100m Freestyle (56.85s), while he copped silver in the team events- the 200m Medley Relay and 200m Freestyle Relay.
While Gaskin was the lone Guyanese to bag more than one gold medal, Suriname produced a total team effort with eight of its swimmers taking the top podium spot on more than one occasion.
Sixteen-year-olds Juan Limburg and Anjali Rahan were the standout performers for the Dutch-speaking nation, winning five gold medals each.
Limburg won the Boys 50m Breaststroke, 50m Freestyle, 100m Breaststroke, 200m Medley Relay and 200m Freestyle Relay, while Rahan topped the Girls 100m Backstroke, 100m Butterfly, 50m Freestyle, 50m Butterfly and 200m Medley Relay.
Valery Amstelveen and Enrico Molly won four gold medals each. Amstelveen was first in the Girls 50m Breaststroke, 100m Freestyle, 200m Medley Relay and 200m Freestyle Relay, while Molly got the better of his opponents in the 100m Backstroke, 200m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke and 200m Medley Relay.
Tatjana Graanoogst and Charissa Brown were also outstanding for the visitors, claiming three gold medals apiece. Graanoogst won the Girls 200m IM, 200m Medley Relay and 200m Freestyle Relay, while Brown was first in the Girls 100m Breaststroke, 200m Medley Relay and 200m Freestyle Relay.
Jair Telting won gold in the Boys 200m Medley Relay and 200m Freestyle Relay; Wendell Zinhagel copped same in the Boys 200m Medley Relay and 200m Freestyle Relay, while Marion Soeradi won the Girls 200m Freestyle Relay, Unique Soestosenojo the Girls 50m Backstroke, and Roche Veldkamp the Boys 200m Freestyle Relay.
Suriname totalled 268 points to Guyana’s 195 from the 24 events that were contested, copping the overall title in the process.
Cover photo caption: Members of the Suriname team in a jubilant mood after a solid showing in the pool on Sunday (Photos: Avenash Ramzan)