Commonwealth Games: Cayman duo advances to finals

Harper Barrowman made history on Tuesday, 2 Aug., becoming the first female swimmer in Cayman’s history to compete in a Commonwealth Games final.

“To be able to do something like that at a level like this, it is just…amazing,” Barrowman said.

Barrowman, 16, stopped the clock at 9:13.97 and place 8th during her 800-metre freestyle finals at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Birmingham, England.

Harper’s historic performance came on the heels of another athlete representing Cayman at the games, who also made history by becoming a finalist.

On Sunday, 31 July, Igor Magalhaes became the first Caymanian gymnast to compete in a Commonwealth final.

Harper Barrowman during her 800m free heat on 1 Aug. Photo: (CIOC) Seaford Russell Jr

Magalhaes, 19, did not initially make the cut. However, his performance during the All-Around qualifying round, earned him the honours of first reserve. Which means, if a competitor is unable to compete, Magalhaes would step in as a replacement.

According to Magalhaes, the opportunity to compete in the finals came about an hour before the start time. He noted it was an experience that he’ll 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.

Lori Powell, President of the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee, stated that she is pleased with the new generation of Caymanian athletes.

“I’m extremely proud that we have two finalists from the Cayman Islands in the Commonwealth Games,” Powell said. This particular team is probably the youngest that we have had, and I see a lot of potential in our future.”

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