Swim team hold their own
BARBADOS’ five-member swim team performed creditably but failed to crack any of the top three age group positions at the inaugural CARIFTA Open Water Swimming Championship recently in Discovery Bay, Jamaica.
Coached by Enrico McConney, CARIFTA pool swimmers Jonathan Manning, Kai Proverbs and Kent Mullins, who represented Barbados at previous CARIFTA swimming championships, took to the open water for the five-kilometre swim. They were joined by first-timer Nicholas Hall and Vanessa Keany, who had made her debut in the open water at last year’s Caribbean Islands Swimming Championship (CISC) in Aruba.
“Our team maintained good pace and were placed in the top ten in their respective age groups, holding their own against some stiff competition from Aruba, Guadeloupe, Trinidad and Tobago and the Cayman Islands,” team manager Patricia Mullins said at the end of the April 3 event.
Proverbs, a seasoned breaststroker in the pool, placed fourth in the 13-14 age group 5K swim, which was won by Guadeloupe’s Florence Genipa in one hour, 17.52.33 minutes.
Hall was fourth and his teammate Kent Mullins seventh in the boys’ 13-14 race, won by Sam Boileau of Guadeloupe in one hour, 13.10.44 minutes.
Keany and Manning were fifth and seventh, respectively, in a very competitive 15-17 age group as they had to fend off stiff challenges from the swimmers from Trinidad and Tobago and Guadeloupe.
Trinidad and Tobago girls Syriah David (1:21.09.52) and Theana Hay (1:21.49.36) swept the two top places, while Guadeloupe’s Jonathan Mamet (1:11.44.65) and Anthony Rechal (1:12.04.19) were the first two finishers among the boys.
Mullins said open water swimming was well suited to the region as most of the islands were surrounded by beautiful beaches and the calm waters of the Caribbean Sea.
“The discipline knows no boundaries as it has no such assistance from the walls of the pools where you can touch the wall or push off it. Instead, the athletes are placed in an open body of water with a course in which they have to swim around, and in this case, it was a 5K swimming race,” she said.
She said the event attracted 52 male and female swimmers in two age groups.
It started at the Puerto Seco Beach with a circuit of about one kilometre which the competitors had to swim around five times.
On their return home, the team was met at the Grantley Adams International Airport by Minister of Sport Stephen Lashley and chairman of the National Sports Council Seibert Straughn. (PR/EZS)