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TT swim team a force in Goodwill

Published: 
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Head coach Sharntelle Mc Lean, centre and Jordon Mc Millan, from left, Joy Blackett, Khayla Gouviea and Kami Morean are all smiles as they arrived from the Goodwill swim meet in Guyana yesterday. Photo by:AYANNA KINSALE

T&T swimmers have retained the Goodwill Swim title for a fourth consecutive time and could be on the way to more titles in the years to come.

The team returned home with well over 30 medals and trophies in an unofficial count as full results from the National Aquatic Centre were not available when the team left.

Coach Chantal Mc Lean, speaking on the team’s return at the Piarco International Airport yesterday described the performance of the team as a great one despite the challenge it faced at the start, saying she believes the young swimmers had the potential to be better than top local swimmer Dylan Carter, who qualified for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last year and has created a stir at the USA Collegiate Championship this year.

“We have continued with the winning streak we had at Carifta coming down to CCCAN and the Commonwealth Youth Games, now at the Goodwill we are definitely a force. This Developmental Goodwill Swim Meet was a great experience for the younger ones and this shows that we have the talent, we have the pool of talent, the pool of swimmers to create the next Jeron Thompson or Dylan Carter, or even surpass him” Mc Lean said.

At the meet every T&T swimmer won a medal by virtue of their performance in Georgetown, with Kami Morean claiming two gold medals and set a new record in the Girls 15-17 age bracket 100 metres freestyle swim. There were also gold medal performances from Naomi Walters in the 11-12 50 metre breaststroke and Joy Blackett in the 9-10 100 metre backstroke event, among others.

The victory was an indication of the team’s depth and quality, Mc Lean said, noting that the other countries are getting better and better. “ Every time we win, we become the target and therefore face more competition. But with the swimmers we have, the quality and depth we have, I think we can still come out on top, which is good” Mc Lean said.

Morean said her experience at the games was a good one as most of the swimmers in her category were top notch, which meant she had to put her best foot forward to medal.

Apart from her new personal best time and record in the 100 metre freestyle and her 50 metre backstroke gold on the penultimate day of the meet, Morean also copped gold in the 200 metres breaststroke event.

Blackett told Guardian Media Sports on her return that she had a difficult experience in Guyana, but had to display true grit to be among the medals. According to Blackett “If you really want to win, you just have to push harder and harder.”

WALTER ALIBEY