Swimmers depart for CCCAN challenge with high hopes

Thursday, June 27, 2019

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The remainder of Jamaica's 41-member delegation for the Central American and Caribbean Confederation Swimming Championships (CCCAN) are set to depart the island today for Barbados ahead of tomorrow's start of the 32nd staging of the event.

Those team members will join up with their compatriots, who left the island yesterday for the five-day championship scheduled to end on July 2.

It will be familiar territory for the Jamaicans, who produced some show-stopping performances at the Carifta Swimming Championships also staged in Barbados in April, and will be hoping to replicate those performances on an even bigger stage this time around.

Jamaica's team will be headed by Sidrell Williams in the men's section. Williams has been a World Championship, representative at the junior, senior and short-course formats, while 2018 Central American and Caribbean representative Bryanna Renuart, who won gold in the 400 individual medley (IM) races at Carifta and CCCAN last year, will be at the helm of the women's section.

In the lower age group, versatile sprinters Zaneta Alvaranga and Nathaniel Thomas will be joined by the sensational Sabrina Lyn in the 13-14 age group after ending as Jamaica's top points scorers from Carifta, while Kokolo Foster will carry the mantle in the girls' 11-12 category, as she is seeded number one in both the 50m and the 100m breaststroke, after medalling in both at Carifta.

However, the competition will be enhanced by the presence of regional swimming powerhouses Mexico and Venezuela, along with Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, among others who are fielding large teams to the games. it is poised to be an exciting championships, despite the standard being lowered to allow swimmers below AAA to be named in an effort to expose the young swimmers to a higher level of competition.

Both Alavranga and Lyn, along with Emily MacDonald, Gabrianna Banks, Nathaniel Thomas, Kyle Sinclair, Cameron Brown and Nicholas Vale, are also shortlisted for the FINA Junior World Championship set for August 20-25 in Budapest, Hungary.

Meanwhile, Daniel Mair, who won Jamaica's first-ever medal in the open water category will be seeking to increase the nation's medal tally along with 13 of his teammates in 3K events for the 12-13 age group and 5K for the 14-17 category.

The parents of these swimmers were asked to absorb the full cost for their children to represent the country which may see some of them missing out on the opportunity to participate. Over the years, the Aquatic Sports of Jamaica (ASAJ) usually absorbs 30 per cent of the cost.

Last year, the Wendy Lee-coached Jamaican team finished sixth on the team table 393.50 points, copping eight gold, seven silver and 14 bronze medals in a 29-medal haul.

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