Sports

Juniors take heart despite failing to progress at FINA World Junior Swimming Championships

Saturday, August 24, 2019

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Despite failing to progress from the preliminary rounds so far, Jamaica's young swimmers continue to take heart from their performances at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Jamaica's presence at the event this year is one of historic significance, as it marks the first time that the country is being represented by more than two swimmers at this championship. It is also the first time that the country has fielded a male and female relay team at any global meet.

The Wendy Lee-coached eight-member swimmers have been holding their own against more established swimmers and by all indications have taken crucial lessons from the outing as part of their continued growth and development.

With Emily MacDonald, Sabrina Lyn and Kyle Sinclair being out of competition on yesterday's fourth day of action, the other members — Cameron Brown, Zaneta Alvaranga, Nathaniel Thomas, Gabrianna Banks and Nicholas Vale — took to the pool inside Duna Arena, where they again made a splash in their own right.

Banks got the show on the road in heat three of the women's 50m backstroke, where she registered the second-fastest reaction time of the heat and led the field to the wall in the event. However, she was later disqualified, denying Jamaica their first finalist at the championships.

Alvaranga then went in heat four of the 50m backstroke, where she placed fifth in another personal best time of 31.35 seconds, but was ranked 43rd overall out of 76 swimmers.

“I have learnt a lot from these championships because it has shown me what the other side of the world has to offer in terms of competition. I think my performances have been good because I have been close to my best times which are a lot better than CCCAN [Central American and Caribbean Swimming Federation],” Alvaranga said in a post-race interview.

Thomas and Vale then took to the deck for the men's 50m butterfly with the former placing seventh in heat five, clocking 26.66 seconds for 59th overall.

He was pleased with the showing despite the outcome.

“Unfortunately I didn't drop any time, but I still think it was a good race,” Thomas noted.

Vale placed 46th overall of 97 swimmers after his time of 25.83 seconds in heat seven saw him finishing in ninth position despite getting off to a good start.

Like Alvaranga, Vale is also hoping to make the most of the lessons learnt thus far.

“My swims this meet haven't been great, but I have learnt a lot from Junior Worlds, seeing all these fast people swim and all these fast times and how difficult it is to make it to semi-finals and finals.

“It definitely motivates me more to train harder and work more on my details and my techniques and based on what I have learnt from the faster swimmers, there are details in my stroke that I can work on,” Vale reasoned.

Meanwhile, Brown clocked 2:39.03 minutes for eighth in heat two of the men's 200m breaststroke, which placed him 60th overall, while Banks shook off the early disappointment to contest the women's 200m individual medley.

She again left the blocks briskly with the second-fastest reaction time in heat one and delivered an excellent display, but her time of 2:40.05 minutes ranked her 61st out of 72.


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