Hosts Ja hunt top-three finish
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
The cream of Jamaica's local and overseas-based young swimmers will be in action in the three-day Carifta Swimming Champion-ships which will be held at the National Stadium pool starting at 9 a.m. today.
Hosts Jamaica will be hoping to better the fourth-place finish they achieved at last year's tournament which was held in Aruba. Trinidad and Tobago won last year's event ahead of The Bahamas and Antigua and Barbuda.
Jamaica's head coach, Jackie Walker, said it going to be very difficult for her team to topple the champions, but she is confident that they can secure a place in the top three.
"We are looking be in the top three because Trinidad and Tobago have come with a very strong team and so I think it will be very hard for us to best them," Walter told The Gleaner yesterday.
"We have good swimmers but we just don't have the depth like the Trinidadians. However, we have the home advantage which I believe we help to move us up into the top three," Walter said.
She added: "In swimming, the winners of the championships is calculated by points and not medals and so the key is to have two swimmers in every final, so that they can score points for us," said Walter. "I expect that they will swim well because I have seen the ranking sheet and it shows that we are well placed to achieve our goal of being in the top three."
She noted that the recent unavailability of the National Stadium pool would not affect her team's performance in this year's championships because the swimmers are ready and raring to go.
"We are ready for this tournament because the swimmers are very adaptable and I am expecting everybody to give a good account of themselves tomorrow," Walter said.
Dominic Walter, Kevaughn Campbell and Timothy Wynter will lead Jamaica's charge in the boys' category. While on the girls' side, the overseas-based trio of Kendese Nangle and Victoria Hoo and Danielle Boothe are Jamaica's main female swimmers.
The tournament will get under way at 9 a.m. with action in the preliminary rounds of the 800 metres freestyle for girls and 1500 metres freestyle for boys. The finals of both events will be contested in the evening session which begins at 6 o'clock.
The Bahamas, US Virgin Islands, Suriname, Netherlands Antilles, Martinique, Guyana, Guadeloupe, Grenada, Cayman Islands, Barbados, Aruba and Antigua and Barbuda are the other countries which will compete in this year's championships.