ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Antigua & Barbuda Carifta swim team finished near the bottom of the pool in the Caribbean Championships over the weekend in The Bahamas, eventually coming to rest in the bottom three.
There was a bright spot for Antigua & Barbuda however, as of the three swimmers who attended the championships, Noah Mascoll-Gomes, who contested the 11 to 12 Boys category, emerged with the most outstanding performance and made history when he became the first Antiguan swimmer to make it to the finals in an event during these games.
Going into the preliminaries he was listed in position 19 of 30 competitors with a time of 29.96. His determined and focused effort of 28.71 in the preliminaries landed him in the number eight position and a spot in the final heat.
This position he also retained in the finals not being able to best this time. His outstanding performance also gave him a 10th place in the 100m freestyle and listed him as an alternate for the finals.
Mascoll-Gomes recorded personal bests in all but one of his events.
The other swimmers Donovan Simon (15 to 17 category) also performed creditably, recording time improvements in three of his six events.
Stefano Mitchell retained his times with no marked improvements.
Coach Wayne Mitchell commended the performances of all three swimmers indicating that they represented the country well, with none falling prey to any disqualifications.
It was a first for them all at this level of competition and the weather conditions were challenging – cold, rainy and windy over the weekend with temperatures dipping into the high 60’s.
It is noteworthy that the countries that dominate in swimming (Guadeloupe, The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, among others) all have 50-metre pool facilities; a standard that has been critical to the explosion of the sport in these islands and to the improvement of standards in the region.
The opportunity to host Carifta will not come to Antigua & Barbuda until such time as our facilities meet this recognised standard.
Antigua & Barbuda Swimming Federation (ABSF) will continue to pursue the establishment of such a facility in Antigua & Barbuda. This can only happen as a collaborative effort on the part of the government, private sector and those charged for administering the sport.
Next year’s championships will be held in Jamaica.
Guadeloupe emerged clear champions with a score of 821.50, while The Bahamas (657) edged Trinidad and Tobago (648) on the last day.