Teenage sensation Harper Barrowman made history on Monday, becoming the first female swimmer in Cayman’s history to qualify for a Commonwealth Games final.
“To be able to do something like that at a level like this, it is just...amazing,” Barrowman, 16, said. She clocked 9 minutes 16.49 seconds in her 800-metres freestyle heat at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Birmingham, England. She qualified for the last spot of the 800m finals on Tuesday where she finished eighth in an even faster time of 9:13:97.
Harper’s historic performance came on the heels of Igor Magalhaes becoming the first Caymanian gymnast to compete in a Commonwealth final on Sunday.
Magalhaes, 19, did not initially make the cut. However, his performance during the All-Around qualifying round, earned him a first reserve spot. Which meant, if a competitor was unable to compete, Magalhaes would be a replacement.
According to Magalhaes, the opportunity to compete in the finals came about an hour before the start time. He said it was an experience he’ll never forget.
“I was more nervous going into the qualifiers,” he said. “I went into the finals...some of my events ended up getting better. I was a little intimidated at first, but then as it went on, the friendly atmosphere made me more comfortable in the stadium and the crowd cheering gave me more confidence. It was an honour to be around such high-level athletes.”
Magalhaes scored 57.650 points finishing 17th overall.
Lori Powell, President of the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee, is pleased with the new generation of Caymanian athletes. “I’m extremely proud that we have two finalists from the Cayman Islands in the Commonwealth Games,” she said. “This particular team is probably the youngest that we have had, and I see a lot of potential in our future.”