Junior swimmers dive into action today

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

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The wait is over and the time is now for Jamaica's young sensations to cement their spot on the team for the upcoming Carifta Championships, as they dive into action at the Walter Rogers National Age Group Swimming Championships at the National Aquatic Championships today.

The five-day meet - named in honour of long-time swimmer, coach and national water polo player - is scheduled to begin at 5:30 pm with the 800m and 1,500m freestyle swims today.

The meet will break for Ash Wednesday, but will resume Thursday morning at 8:30 with preliminaries for 11 years and older swimmers. The finals of these preliminaries then take place in the afternoon starting at 5:30 pm, with the 10 and under swimmers engaging in their time finals as filler between the events for older swimmers.

The championships will give selectors a better picture of the talent pool from which to select the team for the 33rd Carifta Swimming Championships, which will be held here in Jamaica commencing March 15.

Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) president Martin Lyn expressed his excitement at the prospects.

“All swimmers are one hundred per cent ready for the meet and the good thing is that we are partners with the National Heart Trust and they will provide all of the volunteers, so that has taken a lot of pressure off the ASAJ and the clubs to find volunteers for the meet which is really good.

“In addition to that, all our officials are ready to go and we just need now for the athletes to perform to the best of their ability. With that said, we are looking forward to some very good performances from most of them in terms of personal best times as they challenge for spots on the team,” Lyn told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Walter Rogers was a past member of the early swimming association and Jamaica's leading water polo and swim official. Rogers would officiate in the “Pepsi Cola Cross the Harbour” swim events as back far in the mid 1950's.

He represented Jamaica as referee in the Tri-Nation (Trinidad, Barbados and Jamaica) West Indies Swimming and Water Polo Championship which preceded CARIFTA Swimming Championships. His time of coaching predates the National Aquatic Centre as he taught early competitive swimming at Bournemouth pool in Rockfort, east Kingston.

— Sherdon Cowan

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