Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Bajan swimmers ready to make a splash in Bahamas

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The Barbados swim team has settled in The Bahamas and yesterday were on full display in the opening ceremony of the CARIFTA Aquatics Championships in Nassau, The Bahamas at the Cruise Port.

During the ceremony, the 23-member squad and coaching staff took part in a parade showcasing the various participating countries as the national team were fully clad in their Barbados track suits. Home team The Bahamas and the Cayman Islands are expected to once again be the frontrunners, but Barbados will be pushing to finish one place higher than their fourth place last year.

Team manager Kay Chandler spoke with the Saturday Sun about how the squad have settled and what the general atmosphere is like among them.

“The team has settled in nicely, former Olympian Alex Sobers joined us today [yesterday] and he has been a positive influence on the squad overall. I am excited for what is ahead and we expect this team to do extremely well especially in the 11-12 and 13-14 age groups where we have some excellent swimmers. In terms of practices, both the boys and girls sessions have gone extremely well and they are all very excited to compete,” said Chandler.

Last Sunday in the national team’s final training session, another Olympian in the form of Martyn Forde joined the squad to imbue them with not only positive reinforcement from his wealth of experience, but he also was a good sport in accepting young Victor Ashby’s sprint challenge in which he defeated the confident Ashby over 25 metres.

National swim coach Dave Farmer also spoke on the current state of the national team and if he believes they can better last year’s tally of 35 medals.

“The swimmers are in good shape and I think we are off to have a very positive CARIFTA this year. What I would say is if everybody swims according to plan, I believe we could see a greater medal haul this time,” said Farmer.

Farmer also gave insight into how the newcomers to the national team have been integrating.

“The newcomers have integrated well into the squad. They have all been swimming for a year or two, so they are not new to the sport, just new to the team. We have enough of the older swimmers to help them acclimate into the squad as well so they will be good,” he added. (DG)

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