Samms fulfilling dream to captain Jamaican swim team
Jaleel Samms

Male captain of Jamaica’s Goodwill Swimming Championship team Jaleel Samms, is expecting great things from his teammates at the three-day event in Trinidad which starts Friday evening.

Samms was in a bullish mood when asked how he thought the Jamaican team would fair at the regional event.

“I have no doubt that the Jamaica team that has been selected for the Games will do extremely well. We have put in the work and all we have to do now, is execute,” he stated.

Samms said he has been focusing on the event since the start of the year based on his personal situation.

“I believe I am quite ready for the games. I knew I wasn’t going to Carifta (Games) from January, so I have been preparing for these as opposed to Carifta of CCCAN."

School and a long-term injury hampered his chances of participating at the other regional championships earlier this season.

“I hade CAPE coming up and I was doing five subjects, along with a shoulder injury.

“I am not over it, but it has healed enough for me to participate to my full potential at this meet,” he promised.

The Kingston College student who celebrated his 18th birthday on Thursday will have a very busy schedule at the championships.

“I will be competing in the 100m butterfly, 50m butterfly, 200m IM, 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 50 breast-stroke.”

As for being named Jamaica captain, it is a dream come true for the young man.

“It is truly an honour as I have seen how a lot of the captains have operated from my first Carifta back in 2017 in the Bahamas and I always wanted to be a captain for a Jamaica team.”

Jamaica has sent its smallest squad to the meet, due in part to swimmers being unable to make the qualification standards, but this has not had a negative effect on Samms’ expectations.

“I believe we will do well despite our numbers. Like they say, we likle but we tallawah.”

The pool that the swimmers use the most is a 50m pool, but the short course meet means that they will compete in a 25m pool. As far as Samms is concerned, this will not hamper the local athletes.

“I don’t expect the short course to deter our performances because we also have been putting in work in the short course pools, whether it be here (at the National Stadium) or at the YMCA, so I have no doubt that we’ll perform to our very best,” he suggested.

Despite sending their smallest team to the event, Jamaica is still expected to make a big splash in Trinidad.

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