Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games delivered excitement, thrills and spills and many firsts for the attending athletes and teams.
At the heart of the Games was the achievements and triumphs of the participants; their accomplishments underscored the dedication and commitment of the athletes, their coaches and support from family and friends as well as the excellent competition facilities provided by the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago.
The 99 medal events delivered nail biting finishes and enthralling competition from professional and hugely talented athletes. While Australia finished top of the medal table, a total of 28 nations returned home with medals. Click here to view the full medal table.
Amongst the trail blazing athletes who set the global stage alight were the individual and team record breakers. In total, 20 existing Commonwealth Youth Games records were shattered by the outstanding young athletes.
Seven records were set in the pool and 13 records in the athletic disciplines. The athletes continued to push the boundaries as they fought for a place on the podium. Not satisfied with breaking one record, three swimmers established a new record, only to better their times in the next race.
Scotland’s Matthew Ward broke the longstanding Commonwealth Youth Games record of 25.94 secs by 0.37 secs in the heat before improving on that time by 0.6 secs when he won gold in the final.
South Africa’s Jessica Thompson and England’s Sienna Robinson both made a splash in the pool when they emulated their own record breaking performances when racing for gold. Lillie McPherson of Australia was the first swimmer to break the Women's 50m Butterfly record in the earlier heat only to see the record set in Samoa in 2015 be broken twice by Thompson.
In the Women's 50m Breaststroke, Robinson shattered her own record in the heat and then again in the final taking 0.27 secs off the former record set by Australian Jessica Legge in Pune in 2008.
Meanwhile in the Hasely Crawford Stadium, spectators were treated to a plethora of groundbreaking milestones as the athletes pushed themselves to the finishing line.
The Guyanese 4x400m mixed relay team won the hearts of the crowds with their outstanding performance on the track as they sprinted to a new Commonwealth Youth Games record of 3:22.07, shaving more than 3 secs off the previous record to claim their first ever Commonwealth Youth Games record.
Also claiming their first Commonwealth Youth Games record and only their second Gold Medal ever for the Cayman Islands was Andrew Stone who jumped 7.70m in the long jump. Stone is the first Caymanian to claim victory on the athletics track following Jillian Crooks fantastic gold and national record in the 100m freestyle Swimming.
The first participating para athletes set the bar high with their exceptional performances on the track and field. All the times and distances set in Trinbago 2023 provide the standard for future young para athletes to aspire to.
The Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games brought together diverse cultures, celebrated the spirit of friendly competition, and provided a platform for the next generation of Commonwealth athletes to shine on the international stage. The event served as a symbol of resilience and determination, reflecting the enduring values respected across the Commonwealth.
Trinbago 2023 record breakers
Highlighted below are a few of the many outstanding record breaking performances that lit up Trinbago 2023. To view all the records, click here.
Zarek Wilson: Men’s 100m butterfly
NEW Games Record: 53:70s
Previous Games Record: 53.87
Zarek Wilson was one of the home stars of the Games, picking up three medals for Trinidad and Tobago and setting a new men’s 100m butterfly record of 53.70s on his way to gold.
Wilson claimed the new record from Lewis Fraser from Wales who set the time of 53.87 in the Bahamas in 2017.
Matthew Ward: Men’s 50m backstroke
NEW Games Record: 25.51s
Previous Games Record: 25.94s
Matthew Ward was one of the individual stars of the Games, picking-up a record breaking four gold medals in the pool for Scotland. In the men’s 50m backstroke, Ward took the Games record twice in the same day - in both his heat and the final, beating Trinidad and Tobago’s Zarek Wilson into second place, himself a record breaker.
Ward took the record from former World Champion, Zane Waddell. The South African set the record in SAmoa in 2015 before going on to be crowned World Champion in the same event in 2019. Ward now has his name firmly in the record books and will be one to watch on the global stage in the future.
Nancy Cherop: Women’s 1500m
NEW Games Record: 4:12.28
Previous Games Record: 4:16.61
Nancy Cherop of Kenya was the long distance star of the Games, picking up both the 1500m and 3000m titles. Her stunning 1500m performance saw her defeat fellow teammate Janet Jepkoech Chepkemoi, who also ran under the previous Games record. Cherop’s time of 4:12.28 shattered the time of 4:16.61 set by Scotland’s Erin Wallace in Bahamas in 2017.
Phoebe Gill: Women’s 800m
NEW Games Record: 2:02.30
Previous Games Record: 2:04.23
England’s Phoebe Gill produced a stunning performance in the women’s 800m, claiming a new Games record from the two-time Commonwealth Games and Olympic champion Caster Semenya. The record breaking legend set the 800m Youth Games record in Pune in 2008 when she won gold beating a competitive field by more than a second. Gill shaved almost two seconds off this record, winning the title in 2:02.30