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16-member swim team for CISC

rhondathompson, [email protected]

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A STRONG 16-member team, comprising several CARIFTA gold medallists  will represent Barbados at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships (CISC) starting in Cuba on Saturday. Still basking in their CARIFTA success, recently re-elected president of the Barbados Amateur Swimming Association (BASA), Sonia O’Neal said the swimmers should make a resounding impression at the meet which ends on July 2.The team, which will compete in four age groups, comprise seven males and nine females and O’Neal said she was heartened by the increase in male swimmers.“This is a positive motivator and I’m urging coaches to pay more attention to the preparation of male swimmers,” she said.In the senior 18 and over division, breaststroker Raymond Edwards, who has also met the standard for the Commonwealth Games slated for Delhi, India later this year, will be joined by Vaughn Forsythe and Marsha Watson. Forsythe, now residing and training in the United States, has also emerged as a skilled breaststroker, while the lone female in this age group, Watson, is making a comeback after sustaining an injury earlier this year. Watson last participated in Barqusimeto, Venezuela, at the CCCAN Swimming Championships in 2009 and is known for her excellent performances in the butterfly events. Lee-Ann Rose, the first Barbadian swimmer to make a qualifying time for the inaugural Youth Olympics, will carry the torch for Barbados in the 15-17 girls. Currently the national women’s open record holder in the 100 and 200 metres backstroke, Rose, along with Watson and Forsythe, will be looking to secure a place on the Commonwealth Games team.Cayman Islands-based Mathew Courtis will join the three CARIFTA golden girls, Zabrina Holder, Deandre Small and Amara Gibbs in the 13-14 age group.He will be participating in six events after making the qualifying cut in the 400m individual medley and the 200m butterfly.These swimmers will also be making their debut at the senior CAC Games next month. The eight swimmers in the 11-12 age group, will be led by prolific CARIFTA gold medallist Christian Selby. Selby will be accompanied by Jonathan Manning and first-timer Akeem Nurse who carried off the Dolphins Swim Club’s most accomplished swimmer trophy last weekend.Sisters Inayah and Sariyah Sherry, Kimberley Willoughby and Ahlea Williams will form the girls team while 14-year-old Tristan Ward will make his debut for Barbados in open water swimming.Ward participated in the first Barbados 5K open water swim in May and secured his ticket to Cuba.This will be the first that he will be swimming in foreign waters. (PR/EZS)