Grenada’s Sara Dowden wins bronze at CARFTA Aquatics Champs, day after her father’s death

Sara Dowden from Grenada won the bronze medal in the Girls 15-17 400m IM in the CARIFTA Aquatics Championships, a day after her father passed away at the Princess Margaret Hospital in the Bahamas.

Grenada’s Sara Dowden wins bronze at CARFTA Aquatics Champs a day after her father's death
Grenada’s Sara Dowden wins bronze at CARFTA Aquatics Champs a day after her father's death

Grenada: Sara Dowden from Grenada won the bronze medal in the Girls 15-17 400m IM in the CARIFTA Aquatics Championships, a day after her father passed away at the Princess Margaret Hospital in the Bahamas. She finished the game with a time of 5: 27: 08s, stood third at the podium, and secured victory during the hardest time of her life.

She played the match on Sunday evening and her father died on Sunday night in the Bahamas. Right after the victory, she gave an interview and said that the medal was for her dad as she had to become the champion for the sake of her father. Dowden said,” I swam the race for my dad and won the match.”

She said that she feels like she made her family and Grenada proud, which is the most important thing. While expressing pleasure, Dowden added,” I feel tired, and accomplished as I feel like I make my family and country proud.”

She also showed her love for the environment in the Bahamas and said that people here in the country are very supportive and she loved the aquatics championships.

Dowden further added that the victory was the result of the hard work and training put into executing and playing. She said that this was a momentous moment and a reflection of her hard work.

On her father’s death, an athlete said, ”I signed the race for him, I did my best. My father collapsed at the Swimming complex yesterday later he died at the Princess Margaret Hospital. You have to continue yourself and you have to just swim and don’t give up even when you feel tired, you have to continue and finish the race.”

Despite the tragedy, a 17-year-old athlete expressed pleasure with the time in the Bahamas and termed it “one of the best countries”.

With the victory, Grenada managed to win the first medal in the Aquatics championships, paving the path towards the podium.

Grenada sent a 12-member contingent to participate in the CARIFTA Aquatics Championships which is taking place at the Betty Kelly Kenning Aquatic Centre in Nassau. The country has been represented by eight female and four male athletes along with the management team of Coag Greson Escobar, Team Manager Neil Francis, and Chaperones Ruth Collymore and Nigel Gresham.

The female athletes included Anaika Otway, Gabrielle Hyson, Sara Dowden, Tilly Collymore, Zeia Ollivierre, Kristin Gresham, Eliza Rose Benjamin, and Nataly Escobar. The male athletes included Jenebi Benoit, Zackary Gresham, Jacob Collymore, and Jaaziel Francis.

The 2024 CARIFTA Aquatics Championships is underway in the Bahamas as it was started on March 28, 2024. After the four days of the tournament, Bahamas has been leading the championships with 16 gold medals, 18 silver, and 11 bronze medals.

Last year, the championship was won by the Bahamas and that was the fifth consecutive victory for the team.