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Junior athletes made Cayman proud

Sports 07 Dec, 2021 Follow News

Team Cayman at the inaugural Junior Pan Am Games opening ceremony in Cali Colombia

Cayman's junior Pan Am Games athletes proudly wave the CaymanIslands flag

Cayman Cyclist, Nathaniel Forbes, wasting no time and hit the roads of Buga for some training

Team Cayman Gymnastics Igor Magalhaes in action

Squash player Emma Turnbull fought hard against her Colombian opponent

Team Cayman Squash player Kali Maclean showed grit playing Guatemala

Team Cayman Squash’s Jade Pitcairn is a formidable player

Artistic swimmers Alexandria Owen and Abbie Carnahan

Cayman’s swimmers

Cayman’s swimmers participating in the first ever Junior Pan Am Games

Team Cayman Swimmer Raya Embury Brown

By Lindsey Turnbull


The Junior Pan Am U23 Games held in Cali Colombia towards the end of November/beginning of December gave some of Cayman’s top young athletes excellent experience in what it is like to compete at the top of their game. All of the athletes participating gained invaluable experience at this, the first ever Pan Am Games geared directly to the under-23s. Cayman’s athletes took on some of the best athletes from 40 other national teams which saw more than 3,800 athletes from across the region participate.

Cayman sent 14 athletes from six disciplines and in all, there were more than 300 events across 28 sports in what was a thrilling few days of top-level competition.

Headed by Cayman Islands Olympic Association Chef de Mission Janet Sairsingh, the team comprised Jillian Crooks, Jordan Crooks, Raya Embury Brown, Kyra Rabess (swimming), Alexandria Owen and Abbie Carnahan (artistic swimming), Jade Pitcairn, Kali MacLean, Emma Turnbull (squash), Igor Magalhaes, Karthik Adapa (gymnastics), Nathaniel Forbes (road cycling) and Lacee Barnes and Shalysa Wray (athletics).

Team Cayman Squash shook up the courts in Cali, having drawn some of the hardest teams in the competition. The team did not let that faze them and displayed an extremely competitive edge that ultimately saw the girls lose 2:0 in the teams round to Mexico, lose 2:1 to Guatemala and then beat El Salvador 3:0 in the play off for 7/8th position, ultimately coming 7th.

Team Cayman Athletics also pushed their limits, with Lacee Barnes earning an overall 5th place with a discus throw of 51.00m. That is her second-best throw behind her personal best of 51.52m. Shalysa Wray came 5th in the 400m finals with a time of 53.47, a new personal best.

Team Cayman Artistic Swimmers Alexandria and Abbie went out and left their very graceful mark on the competition. This was Cayman’s first ever, Artistic Swimming Duet Team at a major event and they definitely made the Cayman Islands proud.

Team Cayman Swimming saw Raya Embury Brown participate in the 400 Freestyle, finishing 8th in B finals and 16th overall with a time of 4:39.37. In the 800 freestyle she finished 13th with 9:28.34.

Kyra Rabess finished 2nd in the 400 freestyle in the B finals and 10th overall with 4:27.56, 6th in the B finals for the 200 freestyle and 14th overall with 2:08.72. She also participated in the 100 freestyle, finishing 20th overall with 59.16 (-0.10 time improvement).

Jillian Crooks came 4th in the B finals in the 200 freestyle and 12th overall with 2:08.43 (-0.74 time improvement), 4th in the B finals for the 100 freestyle and 12th overall with 58.06. In the 100 backstroke she finished 2nd in the B finals and 10th overall with 1:05.30 (-0.44 time improvement).

Jordan Crooks finished 3rd in the 100 butterfly in the B finals and 11th overall with 55.49, and 4th in the 100 freestyle and 4th overall with 50.78. In the 50 freestyle he finished 8th in the A finals overall.

The Cayman Islands Olympics Committee said Nathaniel Forbes had an amazing road race for Team Cayman Cycling, and kept with the main pack for some 70+ miles. Unfortunately, he encountered a series of mechanical problems that let the pack get away and he was unable to recover the time and distance after two more mechanical failures. Never-the-less, they called his race “spectacular” and that he showed his heart as this was a course with climbs at altitude which Nathaniel had not encountered before. The training he receives under his coach Ken Gokool has definitely shown that Nathaniel with bring back cycling for the Cayman Islands, they stated.

As at 6 December, Brazil dominated the medals, earning 163 medals in total, of which 59 were gold. Colombia was second with 145 medals (48 gold) and the US was third with 114 medals (47 gold). Further results for Cayman’s athletes will be reported as they become available.

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