Save Swimmers For CARIFTA - Lamey
Buoyed by over 30 local juniors who have achieved CAR-IFTA Swimming Championships qualifying times, Handel Lamey, Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) president, wants coaches to keep their charges "fresh and injury free" so that they can, hopefully, equal or better last year's performances.
"The teams are in training; preparations are going well. At-least over 30 swimmers have made the qualifying cuts (time) for Carifta," revealed Lamey, noting that expectations are "very good".
The annual championships will be held in Nassau, The Bahamas, over the Easter weekend, beginning on April 15.
"We are expecting to repeat or better the performances that we did last year because we have the same number of competitors, and we have had additions to the team, and we expect great things from them," Lamey told The Gleaner.
Jamaica will be competing against 25 participating countries amid hopes of equalling, or bettering, the eight gold, nine silver, and eight bronze (25 medals) achieved at the championships in Martinique last year.
Although the ASAJ makes a lot of local meets available to help condition young swimmers for regional competitions like Carifta, and which will ultimately aid their development in the sport, Lamey is insistent that coaches should save their athletes for important events and avoid fatigue.
"One of the things we stress is that coaches must select the events for the swimmers, and to know where their athletes are in terms of their fitness, and peaking, tapering from the various meets they compete in," he said.
He was quick to point out that the ASAJ does not have any mandatory rules requiring athletes to compete in all meets prior to CARIFTA.
"They alone (coaches) can determine that, and we just make the meets available for the achievements of the times and performances," Lamey said.
One of the important qualifying meets some will be expected to compete in will be the national age group championships. It is the final qualifier, to be followed by national team selection.
At least 20 per cent of Jamaica's CARIFTA contingent will be made up overseas-based swimmers this year.