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Eight debutants for Carifta swim
Eight new faces will represent T&T in the 11-12 age group at the Carifta Swimming Championships in Barbados from April 23-26. They are among ten representatives in this age group who will be anxious to contribute to T&T’s medal haul as the team seeks to win its third consecutive Carifta. Jewel Mulrain, Tariq Lashley, Revash Ramtahal, Amira Pilgrim and Gwillym Watkins are among the medal contenders.
Asatt has selected the best performers in this age group despite some not achieving the qualifying times. According to a release from Asatt, the idea behind this is that these swimmers are still in transition from junior to senior and this would allow them a fair opportunity to develop before the stringent qualifying times are enforced. Ramtahal and Mulrain were both finalists in last year’s Carifta. Chelsea Bynoe Sawyer and Mulrain were finalists at the Caribbean Island Swimming Championships in Cuba. Aaron Acres, James Gillette, Lashley, Pilgrim and Watkins have represented T & T previously at the Goodwill Swim Meet. Gillette and Pilgrim are first year 11-12s. Pilgrim established a national record in the 9-10 50 fly last year and has made a qualifying time in her first attempt at Carifta.
Che Rel Edwards is also a first year 11-12 and this is her first national team ever. Lashley, who has migrated to Canada, has returned home to represent T&T in his debut at Carifta. Dave Ann Alves is in her first Carifta and she is the first athlete ever from the Point Fortin Community Swim Team to make a national team. While Asatt has made team selection easier for the 11-12s, their automatic selection on teams does not nullify their potential to medal.
At least two other current team members who have now progressed in age were non-qualifiers in 11-12 and brought home precious metal. In Aruba in 2008, Bryanna Duncan who is now in 13-14 won a bronze medal in the 100 butterfly. One year prior in Jamaica in 2007, Kareem Baptiste who is now in 15-17, won bronze in the 200 freestyle. With history on their side, the T & T 11-12s are going with an attitude that anything is possible. T & T last year boasted of the top 11-12s in the competition in Tyla Martin and Jabari Baptiste. Syriah David, who became a dominant force in T & T swimming last year was also a medallist.
Dave Ann Alves,
Che Rel Edwards,
Chelsea Bynoe Sawyer,
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