Praise for meet hosts
Apparently the best of Barbados’ performances were not limited to inside the pool.
Local swimming president Sonia O’Neal said the country received praise for the smooth running of the LIME CARIFTA Swimming Championships and was giving her relatively green organising committee high marks for the management of the four-day meet.
O’Neal made the comments just one day after Tuesday’s final session at the Aquatic Centre, where Barbados finished second in the medals tally for the second year in succession.
“Based on the feedback I received from visiting delegations, it would seem that we organised it well [because] we started on time every day and the swimming went well,” acknowledged O’Neal.
“And this is great considering we were working with a team that a lot of them had never been involved in organising a major championship.
“We had to work harder because we had to get the group up to scratch quickly but I was quite happy with how they responded and for making it happen.”
It was a record eighth time Barbados hosted the regional junior meet, which attracted 456 visiting athletes, coaches and officials, as 15 teams contested 114 swimming events in six different age categories.
And the championships were relatively incident-free, running mostly without delay even after the officials had to do without the services of the big electronic scoreboard, which went down two days into the meet.
But O’Neal did admit to one slightly unpleasant situation that arose when the delegations of Guadeloupe and Martinique didn’t take kindly to their swimmers being disqualified for breaking a local health rule.
Three swimmers were disqualified on the second morning session for taking their caps off while still in the pool – a regulation not enforced by the world governing body FINA.
But the matter was resolved swiftly following a 15-minute coaches’ meeting, as the initial disqualifications were rescinded but the rule was upheld for the remainder of the meet.
“We did have some challenges with the health rule but after that situation we got more cooperation in that aspect,” O’Neal revealed.
Barbados finished the championships with a meet-best 21 gold medals, finishing second in the table behind Guadeloupe with an overall 48 medals while placing fifth with 560 points.
The hosts also took the Girls’ 11-12 and 13-14 individual age group titles through the respective exploits of Sariyah Sherry and Zabrina Holder who led all athletes with eight individual gold medals and 13 in total.