Into the pool and onto the court in Australia

Iain McCallum matched his PB in the 50m butterfly.

Swimming and squash were the first sports Team Cayman Islands competed in at the XXI Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia on 5 April, with athletes battling nerves against some of the world’s best in their disciplines.

At the outdoor Optus Aquatic Centre, Lauren Hew and Alison Jackson were drawn in the same heat of the women’s 200m freestyle, finishing 6th and 7th respectively.

“It felt pretty smooth but it definitely wasn’t as fast as I thought it was. It was just a nervous first race,” said Hew, who finished with a time of 2:07.21.

Jackson clocked in at 2:12.08. “I was just off my PB, so it wasn’t too bad. I was hoping for a PB but I have more things to come,” she said afterward.

A few minutes later, Iain McCallum entered the pool for the men’s 50m butterfly. He finished 8th in his heat, matching his lifetime best of 25.99 sec. Although he was nervous about competing in front of 10,000 cheering spectators, the 20-year-old said the nerves pushed him a bit.

He said he tried to distract himself from the situation. “I kind of tried to zone out and put my earphones in, so I wasn’t paying much attention.”

A few miles away at the Oxenford Studios, five Cayman Islands squash players took to the court.

In an entertaining match, Caroline Laing lost a tough five-setter after battling back after dropping the first two sets before losing to rising Barbadian youngster, Amanda Haywood.

Caroline Laing (red) in action vs Amanda Haywood of Barbados.

Another highlight was Cameron Stafford making top-50 player Harrinder Sal Pandhu of India earn his victory in four sets.

See scores below:

Women’s singles Rd of 64

Amanda Haywood (BAR) def Caroline Laing 3-2 (11-9,11-5, 9-11, 5-11, 11-7)

Colette Sultana (MLT) def Samantha Hennings 3-0 (11-7, 11-3, 11-4)


Women’s singles Rd of 32

Tamika Saxby (AUS) def Eilidh Bridgeman 3-0 (11-4, 11-2, 11-1)


Men’s singles Rd of 64

Evan Williams (NZL) def Jacob Kelly 3-0 (11-9, 11-5, 13-11)

Harrinder Pal Sandhu (IND) def Cameron Stafford 3-1 (11-3, 11-13, 11-6, 11-8)


Swimming and squash continue on Friday, 6 April, with Cayman’s gymnasts Sami Peene and Raegan Rutty taking part in qualifying and boxer Dariel Ebanks entering the ring.


Day Two schedule (5/6 April) (times are Cayman Islands)


10:30 p.m. Thursday – Men’s Singles Plate Rd of 32: Cameron Stafford vs Mandela Patrick (TTO)

11:15 p.m. Thursday – Women’s Plate Rd of 16: Faiza Zafar (PAK) vs Samantha Hennings

12:00 a.m. Friday – Women’s Plate Rd of 16: Lynette Val (PNG) vs Eilidh Bridgeman

4:00 a.m. Friday – Men’s Singles Plate Rd of 32: Jacob Kelly vs Hardeep Reel (KEN)



8:53 p.m. Thursday – Women’s 50m freestyle: Alison Jackson – Heat 4

8:55 p.m. Thursday – Women’s 50m freestyle: Lauren Hew – Heat 5

9:00 p.m. Thursday – Men’s 100m breaststroke: David Ebanks – Heat 1

9:18 p.m. Thursday – Women’s 100m backstroke: Lauren Hew – Heat 3



2:10 a.m. Friday – Women’s Team Final and Individual Qualification: Raegan Rutty and Sami Peene



5:47 a.m. Friday –  Men’s 75kg Rd f 32: Don Vilitama (NIU) vs Dariel Ebanks


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