Blackman at the head of the Pan American aquatic challenge | local sports

TWICE First Citizens Sport Foundation Young Sportsman of the Year, Nikoli Blackman will lead a 32-member contingent of Team TTO at the 2022 Pan Am Aquatic Age Group Swimming Championships taking place at the National Aquatic Center from July 2 to June 5.

The team also includes Tokyo 2020 Olympian Cherelle Thompson, but Blackman is the form horse and her prowess spans multiple swimming disciplines.

This diversity was on display at the 35th Carifta Swimming and Open Water Championships where he won 15 medals, earning him the Boys 15-17 Highest Points Trophy and the FINA for the most outstanding race of the competition.

In individual events, Blackman won ten medals, including a silver in the boys 16-18 5km open water swim Wednesday that closed the competition.

In the pool, the Fatima College student won four gold, two silver and three bronze medals in nine of the ten individual events he competed in, narrowly missing out on a podium finish in the boys’ 100m butterfly 15-17 years old.

Gold medal efforts came in the 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle, while he was runner-up in the 1500m freestyle and 200m butterfly. Bronze medals came in the 200m individual medley (IM), 50m butterfly (25.51) and 50m backstroke.

He combined with teammates Zarek Wilson, Aaron Stuart and Johann-Matthew Matamoro to win three golds and a silver in the relay events, including gold in the boys 15-17 4x 100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle and the 4x 50m freestyle relay record. The only defeat was accompanied by a silver medal in the 4 x 100 m medley relay for boys aged 15-17. Stuart and Matamoro are also back but US-based Wilson will not be available for this competition.

Blackman won the FINA trophy for his 100m freestyle effort which gave him the highest points (760) on the FINA scale. FINA is the world governing body for aquatic sports.

The women’s team also includes former TTO Carifta star and American swimmer Gabriela Donahue, a sophomore at the University of Nebraska.

Team TTO Swim Team


11 – 12 GIRLS

No qualifying

11 – 12 BOYS

Alejandro Agard

Jaden Mills

13 – 14 GIRLS

Madara Edwards

Keiera Audain

Sydney Fong look

Maidan Edwards

13 – 14 BOYS

Zacharie Antoine

John Rivas

Liam Carrington

Shaelen Reece

Darren Belfon

Anpherne Bernard

15 – 17 GIRLS

Amari Ash

Gabrielle Vickles

Joy Blackett

Tyla HO A Shu

15 – 17 BOYS

Nikoli Blackman



Aaron Stuart

Josiah Changar

Akash Sing


Johnnya Ferdinand

By Nicha Lewis

Cherelle Thompson

Jahmia Harley

Gabriela Donahue

Ornella Walker


Akil Joseph

Christian Awah

Delroy Tyrel

Josiah Parag

Cadell Lyon

The head coach –

Sharntelle McLean’s

Assistant Coaches—Christian Homer, Mark Rivas, Deronn Samlalsingh

Team Leader – Jason Wickham