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250 swimmers seek medal honours
Top local swimmers will dive into action today at the start of the National Short Course Championships.
Some 250 swimmers from 15 clubs from T&T will compete for top honours over the next four days at the National Aquatic Centre in Balmain, Couva. This afternoon the meet begins at 6 pm with heats and continues tomorrow also from 6 pm with the opening ceremony leading off the evening’s events before swimmers face off in their respective finals.
On both Saturday and Sunday, the first race on each day, will be at 9.15 am until noon, then later on the action restarts at 5.30 pm. Admission on each day is $20.
There were speculations as to whether the facility would be ready for the final short course meet for the year to be hosted by the Amateur Swimming Association of T&T (ASATT) but its president Wendell Lai Hing yesterday put all fears to rest concerning the venue.
“The pool was down for maintenance but all systems are go,” said Lai Hing. “I was there two hours ago and the maintenance work is completed. The competition pool and the warmup pool are all done.
“The Sport Company (Sportt) staff picked up where the contractors had left off. The equipment were tested and are ready for competition which starts tomorrow (today).
Leading swimmers Jeron Thompson, Kael Yorke, Zarek Wilson, Nicholi Blackman and Graham Chatoor and among the girls, Deshor Edwards, Jahmia Harley and Jada Chai will seek to touch the wall first in their respective events also hoping to improve on their times.
The competition will fall into three categories including the boys and girls 10 and Under age-group, 11 years and over and Masters, which caters for swimmers over the age of 25 for men and women.
“The Masters category was included to encourage more swimmers to compete,” said Lai Hing. “We had swimmers participate at FINA World Masters Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary earlier this year like Danielle Cozier. She will not be competing at this year’s event but she wants to give back so she will be assisting.”
Cozier emerged the highest ranked athlete of the 12 athletes aged 27 to 63 that represented T&T at the World event that took place in August. She competed in the age 50m backstroke for age 50 -54 and placed eighth and 15th in both the 50 freestyle and 50 butterfly.
Marlins, Tidal Wave Blue Dolphin, Atlantis, Tsunami, Sea Hawks, Flying Fish and YMCA Tobago are some of the clubs that will be participating in each of the four swim style including freestyle (50m, 100m, 200m, 800m and 1,500m), breaststroke (50m, 100m, 200m, backstroke (50m, 100m, 200m) and butterfly (50m, 100m, 100m) and 200m and 400m Individual Medley at the 25-metre pool.
Clubs have also been encouraged to provide a relay team for 4x50m and 4x100m freestyle and medley events.
Medals will be awarded for first, second and third places in all events and placings from four to eight will be presented ribbons for their participation. Trophies will be awarded to the overall first, second and third placed swimmers, for male and female competitors in all categories.
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