Cayman swimmer and gymnast make historic finals

| 02/08/2022 | 17 Comments
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS) Harper Barrowman (16) made history in Birmingham on Monday when she became the first female swimmer in the history of the Cayman Islands to qualify for a Commonwealth Games final. Barrowman stopped the clock at 9:16.49 in her 800-metre freestyle heat at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, which was just enough to take the last slot for the final later today, Tuesday, 2 August.

“To be able to do something like that at a level like this, it is just… amazing,” Barrowman told Cayman’s Commonwealth Games reporter Seaford Russell.

Harper’s achievement came on the heels of 19-year-old Igor Magalhaes’ historic performance when he became the first Caymanian gymnast to compete in a Commonwealth final on Sunday. Magalhaes was first reserve after the all-around qualifiers, which means that if a competitor who qualified for the finals is unable to compete, he would step in as a replacement. He learned that he had got his chance to shine just an hour before the competition.

Magalhaes said it was an experience that he will 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 finished with a score of 57.650 and 17th overall.

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Category: Local News, Sports

Comments (17)

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  1. Orrie Merren says:

    Very proud of both athletes. Best wishes.

  2. Anon says:

    Wow, that’s a pretty nice achievement for someone so young. I see the winner was the Olympic Champion and world record holder — the one that beat Katie Ledecky, who is known as the greatest of all time.

    I wouldn’t expect a kid who is swimming their first major international competition to be directly competitive at that level, but to do best times in the heats and again in the finals by a lot under those circumstances does earn my respect. Excited to see how this young lady continues in her career for our country.

  3. Oh please u nay sayers.Give credit where credit is due.These young people have worked hard and deserve as much encouragement as possible to work even harder for future events.One has to start somewhere and they gave of their best for the Cayman Islands.Its all about competing and doing your best and enjoying the chance to represent your country.I did in 1976 along with many others fortunate enough to represent these wonderful islands so stop criticising and encourage more to do their best in whatever they choose in the future.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Amazing job to Cayman Islands Gymnasts!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well done to both athletes.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sensational achievement when you consider our population is somewhere in the 65-70k range versus other Commonwealth nations who have far more superior populations and numbers to chose from. Everyone one of the athletes representing our country should be extremely proud.

    I suspect the folk who have all provided negative comments have never competed in any sporting competitions whatsoever.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Let’s see if an MLA congratulated this paper Caymanian

  8. Beaumont Zodecloun says:

    Congratulations on your achievement Miss Harper. Well done. This is only the beginning for you.


  9. Anonymous says:

    Putting people and their achievements down seems to be a national sport in the Cayman Islands. Congratulations Harper!

    • Michael Day says:

      Well said! Our athletes work very hard and competing at this level is amazing. Those putting them down are simply not nice people who have never achieved anything noteworthy.

  10. Anonymous says:

    We are given these places & don’t meet qualification standard. Put it in perspective. The winner was Australian in 8.13.59
    Quite a difference

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are going to look for perspective – look at the fact that the winner you mentioned is 5 years older than Harper. Youngest in the whole group – way to go Harper – way to represent Cayman!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Great she made the final – but there were only 10 swimmers in the heats with 8 qualifying. A Caymanian was 1 of the 2 not advancing. Barrowman’s time was well short of Heather Roffeys National record.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow how negative. What have you ever achieved from hard work.? almost feel sorry for you if you can’t even congratulate and be happy for this youngster.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow. Sad that you can’t say anything nice. You should learn some manners. Your mother should be ashamed. If you have one. Most likely born of what a seagul left on a rock (I’d use differentterminology, but there may be innocent people reading). See. Thats how it feels. Jerk.

    • Anonymous says:

      You seem to know enough about the times and records that you must be connected to the local swimming scene.

      If you have an issue maybe state your name next time. It is pretty cowardly to throw shade at someone as “Anonymous”.

      I doubt you would say this directly to many people.

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