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Selby main medal hope

Randy Bennett

Selby main medal hope

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Christian Selby has been swimming for more than half of his life. He’s been winning medals for just as long too.
And as the 14-year-old student of Queen’s College prepares to compete in what will be his fourth CARIFTA Swimming Championships, he does so knowing that a lot will be expected of him.
That’s because he is set to compete in 11 events in the 13 to 14 age group during the four-day meet in The Bahamas this weekend.
Selby will be competing in the 1500 metre freestyle, 400 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 50 freestyle, 200 butterfly, 100 butterfly, 50 butterfly, 200 backstroke, 400 individual medley and the 200 individual medley.
“The plan was really for me to swim in eight events, but after competing in the long course nationals, I figured I could medal in three other events,” he told WEEKENDSPORT just after hopping out of the pool on Monday afternoon.
Selby, who swims from Pirates Swim Club, also hopes to improve on his performance from last year, where he claimed one gold and one bronze medal.
“I’m definitely looking to get more medals, and I will also be looking to break the record in the 400 metres freestyle, as it is one of my pet events.”
For Jack Kirby, this will be his first ever CARIFTA championships and he is really looking forward to it.
“I am a little nervous because this will be my first time at CARIFTA, but I don’t think that I will do too badly,” the soft spoken St Winifreds’ student revealed.
Despite being only 11 years old, Kirby who will be competing in the 11 to 12 category, has his sights set on making it onto the world stage, where he hopes to one day compete in the Olympics.
And with the unyielding support of his mother Tracy Kirby behind him, he knows that anything is possible.
“My mom is usually the one in the crowd who is screaming the loudest,” he shyly exclaimed.
“Even when I’m in the pool, I can always hear her voice, along with my little sister’s and it really helps to encourage me.”
This year’s championships will be a very special one for Lee-Ann Rose.
It will not only be her sixth ever appearance at the regional games, it will also be her last.
Rose, 17, will spearhead Barbados’ attack in the 15 to 17 division, and she is hoping to bow out with a bang.
The Lower Sixth student at Queens College will be competing in six events, and she is confident that she will be able to medal in all of them.
“I have really enjoyed all of my previous appearances at CARIFTA, and I will definitely be looking to improve on my performance last year where I only managed one bronze medal.
“My performances recently have been very encouraging, and at the short course nationals I was just one second outside of the Olympic B qualifying time,” she revealed.
But despite outgrowing CARIFTA, she has no intentions of stopping swimming anytime soon.
She plans to continue to train hard, with the hopes of representing Barbados at the Olympics in the near future.
“I plan to continue swimming and hopefully I will be able to get a scholarship. From there the sky is the limit, and my goal will be to make it to an Olympic final,” said Rose who is currently studying law, management of business and art.
Speaking to Tiffany Titus, you’d never know that this is her first CARIFTA Games.
Titus, at 13 years old, is focused and confident that she will do well.
“I’ve been training well and my coach has told me that he expects me to do well and bring back a lot of medals,” she said, while also revealing that she would be competing in nine events.
The swimmer of Alpha Sharks Swim Club, also has the support of her parents to help calm her nerves while on the trip to The Bahamas.
“I am not nervous at all. My parents are always there to lend their support and they have told me all I need to do is believe in myself and keep focused, and that is what I plan on doing.”