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
2022 PANAM AQUATICS AGE GROUP SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS.
11 – 12 GIRLS
11 – 12 BOYS
13 – 14 GIRLS
Sydney Fong look
13 – 14 BOYS
15 – 17 GIRLS
Tyla HO A Shu
15 – 17 BOYS
GIRLS 18 AND OVER
By Nicha Lewis
BOYS AGED 18 AND OVER
The head coach –
Assistant Coaches—Christian Homer, Mark Rivas, Deronn Samlalsingh
Team Leader – Jason Wickham