Twenty-one of Barbados best junior swimmers will represent the island at the 2015 CARIFTA Swimming Championships to be held at the Aquatic Centre, Wildey, from April 4 to 9.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the championships and it holds great meaning for Barbadian swimming as the first championships were also held in Barbados in 1986 at the Ursuline Convent pool. The Aquatic Centre will also be celebrating its 25th anniversary in September.
More than 365 athletes are expected to compete at the championships. Experienced swimmers Christian Selby and Kimberley Willoughby will be competing in their final CARIFTA championships and hope to end with more hardware to contribute to the Barbados tally as they have consistently done over the years.
Willoughby will be joined in the 15-17 age group by team captain Alexis Clarke, Hannah Gill and Sariyah Sherry and the four of them should combine to be a powerful force in the age group. Selby will be joined by Alex Sobers the male team captain and between them dominance is expected in the freestyle events. These six swimmers have represented Barbados at CARIFTA in previous years and are looking to return to the podium as in the past.
Luis-Sebastian Weekes, Damon St. Prix, Jack Kirby, Kobi Talma and Jumar Walrond comprise the 13-14 male team while Kendi Bynoe, Rebecca Lashley, Mckayla Treasure and Destiny Harding will fight for glory for the 13-14 female team. With only one newcomer in this line-up and seven of the nine being at the top end of the age group, quality performances are expected from them individually and in the relays.
They will be represented across all four strokes and in the individual medleys Nkosi Dunwoody, competing for the second time at these games, will be joined by newcomer McCallum Clarke whose qualifying time in the 200m breaststroke would have earned him a place in the finals last year.
Dunwoody was in great form at the recently concluded nationals and can be expected to make several podium appearances. The girls’ team will be headed by 12-year-old Danielle Titus and Ashley Weekes, both medalists last year and they will be joined by newcomers Danielle Treasure and Kayla Smith. Titus was a medallist at the 2014 CARIFTA Championships in Aruba and is expected to dominate the age group this year.
The open water team will consist of last year’s bronze medallist Alexis Clarke and Nicholas Hall, Kent Mullins and Jonathan Manning in the 15-17 age group. Kobi Talma and Gabrielle Dupigny will represent Barbados in the 13-14 age group. This race will be a 5km event contested in Carlisle Bay on April 8.
Manager of the team is Andrea Titus and she will be joined by chaperone Samantha Clarke while the coaches will be led by Antonio Petrolanda who will be assisted by Abdul Sharif, Darny Olalde Hernandez and Aisha Norville.