Local team ready for big splash
Barbados stands a good chance in the pool at the Goodwill Swim Championships set for this weekend at the Aquatic Centre.
This was communicated by president of the Barbados Amateur Swimming Association, Tony Selby, during a media briefing ahead of the competition, which begins on Friday evening at 5 p.m.
“We expect keen competition. This particular meet is extremely important because it is the breeding ground for moving on to CARIFTA, the Central American And Caribbean Swimming Championships (CCCAN) and higher level meets. Judging from the psych sheet, we have a good chance of placing in the top three. Our athletes have been training hard.
“I notice from the sheet particularly in the eight and under age group as well as the 13-14 boys we have several of our athletes in the top three places, so we anticipate that we will do very well this year. Being at home we have the crowd advantage and it’s in our pool so we should do well.
“We have a mixture of new individuals competing for the first time, particularly in the eight and under and 9-10 age groups. We have some seasoned veterans like captains Ashley Weekes and Keon Jessamy, who have been competing for many years. As a matter of fact, Ashley has been a seasoned competitor at CARIFTA for some time.
Barbados, who placed fourth in last year’s championship in Guyana, will compete against defending champions Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Guyana, Jamaica, Bahamas, Grenada and St Lucia in the 8 and Under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-17divisions.
Second vice-president of the association, Samantha Clarke, said about six or seven newcomers will compete at the meet, which will continue on Saturday and Sunday with a 9 a.m. start with the presence of three CARIFTA water polo competitors.
The three include Kayla Smith in the 13-14 age group, Shannan Smith in the 15-17 and Nathan James in the boys 15- 17 age group.
“They are going to bring a lot of strength in the sprinting for the team because traditionally Barbados is very good in the distance events. Traditionally we do well at CARIFTA in the 400s, 800s and 200s. A lot of these children are ranked in the psych sheet and we anticipate they will do very well,” she said. (RG)