The Cayman Islands Olympic Committee (CIOC) announced a delegation of six athletes Friday (28 June) to represent the country at the XVIII Pan American Games in Lima, Peru 26 July to 11 August.
Competing in four sports – athletics, sailing, gymnastics, and swimming – the Cayman Islands team will be led by Olympic sprinter Kemar Hyman.
The 28-year-old recently clocked the second-best time of his career in the 100-metres, qualifying him for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
In the pool, Cayman will see three swimmers competing including Olympian Brett Fraser, Florida State University freshman Lauren Hew and McKendree University freshman John Bodden. Fraser, 29, won gold in the 200-metre freestyle with a then record time of 1:47.18 at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Fraser is a three-time Cayman Islands Olympian and will compete in the 50-and 100-metre freestyle as well as the 100-metre butterfly.
Hew, 19, will get some long course competition prior to the games as she’s currently competing at the Central American and Caribbean Swimming (CCCAN) Championships at the Barbados Aquatics Centre. Hew will swim in the 50-metre, 100-metre and 200-metre freestyle.
“I’ve never been to the Pan Am Games, so I’m excited to be on this team and as usual,” said Hew. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to represent Cayman. I’ve spent the summer in Tallahassee training, so I’m looking forward to coming home in July to meet up with the team before traveling to Peru.”
Bodden, 19, a long distance specialist, will compete in the 200-metre butterfly, 400-metre butterfly and the 1500-metre freestyle. He’s gone a seasons converted best 16:55.11 in the 1500m, and 2:07.68 in the 200m fly.
In gymnastics, Cayman will be represented by 17-year-old Raegan Rutty. In October, Rutty qualified for the games by placing fourth overall out of nine countries competing with single gymnasts at the 2019 Pan Am Championships in Doha.
In sailing, Cayman will be represented by 20-year old Jesse Jackson. Competing in Laser Standard, the Solent University freshman sailed a season’s best top-five out of five races at the Kiel Olympic Week best in Germany among 20 sailors.
“I truly am very proud to be selected,” said Jackson. “I am currently training hard in Portugal in order to hopefully qualify to the Olympics at the Pan American Games.”
This will be the eleventh time the Cayman Islands have participated at the Pan American Games dating back to 1979, winning one gold, four silver and one bronze all-time.