Certainly a blast-off yesterday to the Second Session of the Eleventh Parliament.
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Florida-based Donahue out Carifta swim team
Florida-based Alexandria Donahue has withdrawn from the T&T team which departs on Sunday to compete at the 29th Carifta Swimming Championships from Monday to Sunday at the Piscina Olimpico Roly Bislik, Oranjestad, Savaneta, Aruba, the same venue as in 2009.
Donahue, who attends Plant Senior High School, was a key member of both the Carifta, and Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) meets for the past years and was expected to play a vital role at this meet as well but is unavailable.
Last year, she swam to gold in the 15-17 girls 100 metres breaststroke (1:12.33 mins) and silver in the 15-17 girls 200m breaststroke in 2:43.05, to deny Jamaican duo Zara Bailey (2:41.37) and Breanna Roman (2:44.14), a one-two finish at the Carifta meet in Jamaica while at the CCCAN event, she won the CCCAN 100m breaststroke in 1:14.01 and also added a bronze.
Despite her absence, T&T will be represented by a very competitive 33-member team led by David Mc Leod and Jabari Baptiste for the Carifta meet which is expected to be a very competitive one as it will serve as an official qualifying meet for the 16th FINA World Championships 2015 which will be held in Kazan, Russia.
It has already been approved as a qualifying meet for Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) in Veracruz, Mexico and the Youth Olympic Games.
In Aruba, T&T will be aiming for its first team title since 2010 in Jamaica after it ended second on the medal table with a haul of 51 (22 gold, 16 silver and 13 bronze), 13 behind Guadeloupe (17 gold, 28 silver and 19 bronze) last year while Aruba was third with 50 (21 gold, 17 silver and 12 bronze). It was the third straight win for Guadeloupe.
At the Amateur Swimming Association National Long Course swim meet which was held in March, Mc Leod of Atlantis Aquatics and Baptiste of Marlins used the event which served as a qualifier for the Carifta Swim meet and Caribbean Islands Swimming Championship, to book tickets to the Nanjing, China Youth Olympic by bettering qualifying times in the 15-17 boys 50m freestyle.
Mc Leod won the event in 23.98 while Baptiste took silver in 24.20 seconds as they both dipped under the B standard qualifying time while attaining Carifta A and B marks as well.
Also in the swim squad is Jada Chai of Atlantis, the standout swimmer at the long course event with no fewer than 12 Carifta qualifying times attained, and Arieos Aquatechs’ Kristin Julien, who has also secured a ticket to China. T&T will also be represented in the Open Water swim where the girls 15-17 trio of David-sisters, Syriah and Shania, and Theana Hay are medal contenders.
Last year in Jamaica, Syriah won the 15-17 Open Water gold while Hay got silver, and Shania won silver in the 13-14 category, and Christian Marsden, bronze in the boys’ equivalent.
For the swim team, Marlins’ Mark Pouchet will serve as head coach while former ASATT president, Hazel Haynes of Tidal Wave Aquatics has been appointed coach of the Open Water team.
The duo of Brian Wickham (Centre of Excellence Sea Hawks) and Chabeth Haynes (Tidal Wave) are also part of the coaching staff which will be managed by former national swimmer, Shastri Sankar.
On return home, the local swimmers will then turn their attention to the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championship carded for Barbados in July.
T&T Carifta Swimming team
13-14 Boys: Christian Marsden, Kael Yorke, James Gillette
15-17 Boys: Jivan Chee Foon, Andrew Gillette, Kyle Caracciolo
15-17 Girls: Syriah David, Theana Hay, Shania David
11-12 Girls: Jada Chai, Jahmia Harley, Vrisnelit Faure, Deshor Edwards, Sabrina David
11-12 Boys: Gabriel Bynoe, Aqeel Joseph, Josiah Duke, Luke Gillette, Jae-Hwa Lee Wing, Jean-Marc Granderson
13-14 Girls: Amira Pilgrim
13-14 Boys: Justin Samlalsingh, Kael Yorke, Christian Marsden, Osaze Riley, James Gillette, Jeron Thompson, Dario Omiss, Christopher Mohammed
15-17 Girls: Kristen Julien, Ariel Cape, Syriah David,
15-17 Boys: David Mc Leod, Jabari Baptiste, Jeron O’Brien, Jonathan Farah, Joshua Ramkissoon