29 clubs for ACI swim meet
Wed, May 23, 2012 - 12:02 AM
OLYMPIC SWIMMERS Albert Subirats and Vanessa Garcia will be competing at this year’s Powerade Aquatic Centre International (ACI).
And already, the Aquatic Centre is buzzingwith activity ahead of this weekend’s big event.
Strategically poised as a London 2012 Olympic qualifier, the meet has attracted an interestingcross section of swimmers from the Caribbeanand a Masters team from the United States.
Several top swimmers from Venezuela are using this meet to clinch Olympic standards. Subirats,of Venezuela, will be competing in the 100-metre butterfly and is one split second off the Olympic “A” qualifying standard. He won gold in this event at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara last year.
Puerto Rico’s Garcia won gold at the Central American And Caribbean Games, beating top Bahamian swimmer Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace. Garcia must shave two splits off her time of 25.29 seconds in the 50-metre freestyle.
She lowered that from 25.39 at the Pan American Games when she was fourth and recently competedin the United States, narrowly missing her target time.
At 16 years old, Ally Ponson, of Aruba, seeded in the 50-metre freestyle at 26.66, will be seeking to go under the FINA “B” time of 26.15. Ally must shave .51 split seconds to have a fighting chance to represent Aruba at the Olympics. Sharntelle McClean from Trinidad and Tobago is also among the prospects fightingfor status in this event and seeded with 26.75.
This will be an interesting race on Sunday night. Both Ponson and McClean will be competing in the 100-metre freestyle on Saturday, while St Lucia’s top swimmers Siona Huxley, now training in Florida, and Joshua Renako Daniel will also be putting in a bidfor Olympic status as will Guyana’s Niall Robertsand Brittany Van Lange.
However, at the centre of the challenge is theACI trophy which has been won by the Alpha Sharks of Barbados for ten years consecutively and on two other occasions in 1992 and 1997. The outlookseems favourable once again on the basisof the swimmers entered.
Twenty-nine clubs from Antigua, Venezuela, Aruba, Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia, Grenada, Guyana, Puerto Rico, St Vincent and the Grenadinesand Barbados will be competing.
The juniors are not to be left out as some will also be using this meet to qualify for the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships to be heldin Oranjestad, Aruba from June 23 to 27, and strictly as development for others.
Local clubs have also entered their top swimmers who recently represented Barbados at the CARIFTA Swimming Championships in The Bahamas.
Carifta medallists Hannah Gill and Christian Selby will be competing for Pirates; Damon St Prix, Kendi Bynoe, Sariyah Sherry and Zabrina Holderfor Alpha; Kimberley Willoughby for Silverfinsand Amara Gibbs for Titans Aquatics.
The challenge will begin on Friday at 5:30 p.m.and continues on Saturday at 9 a.m. and Sundayat 8:30 a.m. (PR/SAT)
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