Oscar Bilbao named as Team England flagbearer for Trinbago closing ceremony

After winning four medals in four days, Team England swimmer Oscar Bilbao has been chosen as the nation’s official flagbearer for the Closing Ceremony of the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad & Tobago.

Bilbao’s medal haul helped Team England’s swimmers top the swimming medal table with a total of 23 – nine golds, 10 silver and four bronze.

The Hamilton Dubai and Repton swimmer completed a hat trick of men’s breaststroke titles with 50m, 100m and 200m gold as well as contributing to Team England’s 4x100m Mixed Medley relay success.

His performance puts him alongside cyclist Hannah Barnes’ four golds at Pune 2008, making it one of the best performances from any Team England athlete in the history of the Youth Games.

Speaking ahead of carrying the flag at ceremony, Bilbao said: “I’m really honoured to get the chance to carry the England flag.

“I came here wanting to get some more international experience and get used to racing swimmers from outside of Europe.

“I’ve definitely done that but mainly, I’ve loved the atmosphere in Team England and the way all of the athletes, from different sports, have supported each other.

“It’s going to be a special moment carrying the flag.”

‘It will live long in our memories’

Team England’s results in the pool are the best since the inaugural Commonwealth Youth Games in 2000 to beat Australia to top spot in the table.

The group have broke a number of Games records and gained valuable international experience out in the Caribbean, which will prepare for senior events in the future.

Overall, Team England finished second in the medal table with the 57-strong team of athletes aged between 15-18 winning 49 medals at the seventh edition of the Games.

Reflecting on the experience Team England’s Chef de Mission Francesca Carter-Kelly has been thrilled with both the performances and the way the athletes have conducted themselves throughout the Games.

She said: “It has been a brilliant week for the team in Trinbago and it will live long in our memories.

“We’re thrilled to have won medals across the four sports we competed in, with the athletics and swimming teams performing superbly to top their medal tables.

“To reach the podium in beach volleyball and Fast5 netball, two of the newer sports on the programme, represents a fantastic achievement for the whole team.

“More than anything, it has been so special to see the way in which our athletes have conducted themselves, seized the opportunity and connected with athletes from across the Commonwealth.

“We’re particularly grateful to our hosts in Trinidad and Tobago, who have welcomed us in true Caribbean style and put on a fantastic show.”

The closing ceremony for Trinbago 2023 takes place this evening with a beach festival in Pigeon Point, Tobago.

You can catch up on all the swimming action at Trinbago 2023 by reading our reports here.