Small, Sherry not in Carifta swim team
The golden girls of the pool are now going to be without two leading performers.
What was supposed to be Barbados’ best division has now been dealt a severe blow after multi CARIFTA medallists Deandre Small and Inayah Sherry did not make themselves available for this year’s junior swimmers meet in Jamaica from March 30 to April 3.
News of the duo’s absence broke yesterday when a 24-member CARIFTA contingent was released.
No official explanation was given for the unavailability of Sherry and Small, but NATIONSPORT understands that Sherry is recovering from an ankle operation. Although she is back in the water, she is not competition-ready.
Small’s mother Mondelle Thornhill-Small said she would no longer be funding her daughter’s trips to represent Barbados. She said athletes travelling for athletics and tennis didn’t pay and the Swimming Association needed to offer more financial assistance.
It’s the rather unwelcome news for a star-studded group – including standout swimmers Zabrina Holder and Amara Gibbs – who has provided the bulk of Barbados’ medals over the past three years.
As recently as last year, the girls accounted for nine of the ultramarine and gold’s 27 medals in The Bahamas. That was down from the 27 golds the girls won back in 2011 when they spurred Barbados to a 48-medal showing on home soil.
Head coach Abdul Sharif doesn’t believe the absence of Sherry and Small will be crippling.
“We’re going to do all right because I don’t think the team will be significantly weaker in terms of quality,” Sharif said in a telephone interview.
“The team won’t be significantly compromised as this is years now that we will not have a full complement so this is nothing new. From that point of view we would like to have full numbers, but I believe our 11-12 categories are just as strong, if not stronger.
“We’re gradually building up towards Jamaica and we will play it from there because no matter what we have on paper it all depends on what happens in the pool,” he added.
The squad of 19 pool swimmers and five open water athletes is set to feature six newcomers including Keisha Rouse, who will be making her debut in the 15-17 girls’ category.
A lot of Barbados’ hopes will lie with both 11-12 categories as Kendi Bynoe leads a strong girls division that includes Destiny Harding while Damon St Prix will have the support of Luis Sebastian-Weekes and Jack Kirby among the boys.
Much is also expected of Christian Selby in the 15-17 boys’ category while Matthew Courtis will be making his swansong at the games.
The 13-14 girls’ division could also prove noteworthy as Sariyah Sherry leads a talented field that includes the likes of Hannah Gill, Tiffany Titus and Alexis Clarke.
11-12: Kendi Bynoe, Destiny Harding, Rebecca Lashley, Shannan Smith, Mckayla Treasure, Jack Kirby, Luis Sebastian Weekes, Damon St. Prix, Kobi Talma
13-14: Alexis Clarke, Hannah Gill, Sariyah Sherry, Tiffany Titus, Alex Sobers
15-17: Amara Gibbs, Zabrina Holder, Keisha Rouse, Matthew Courtis, Christian Selby
Open Water Swimmers: Vanessa Keany, Kai Proverbs, Nicholas Hall, Jonathan Manning, Kent Mullins
Coaches: Abdul Sharif, Antonio Petrolanda, Enrico McConney
Managers: Andrea Titus.
Chaperones: Samantha Clarke and Pamela Mullins