The curtains came down in reign of glory for the Grenada National swimming team on the 4th and final day of the swimming competition at the 33rd Carifta Aquatic Championship in Kingston, Jamaica.
Grenada’s medal count moved from 5 to 6 with the glorious Gold victory for Anaika Charles who swam a spectacular race in the girls 11-12 100 breaststroke in a time of 1.21:58. Charles earned herself a total of 2 medals at the Carifta games with an earlier won bronze medal in the 11-12 girls 50 breast in a time of 36.77 seconds.
Grenada’s 2018 showing at the Carifta Championship has been recorded as the best yet with a total of 6 medals, 1 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze medals.
Gabrielle Hyson took home the silver medal with a personal best time of 2.43:14 in the 200m Butterfly. Additionally, Hyson earned a bronze medal in the girls 11-12 400m Individual Medley with a personal best time of 5.46:46.
Jenebi Benoit earned a bronze medal swimming the boys 13-14 100m butterfly in a time 1.01:06. Benoit missed the podium by .05 second in the 50m backstroke with a time of 27.34, behind the 3rd place time of Guadeloupe swimmer of 27.29. Parshawn Haynes’ bronze medal was earned in the 50m backstroke in the boys 11-12 age group with a personal best time of 32.13 seconds.
In addition to the medals won the entire team has excellent showing earning placement in 30 final events, 2-4th place finishes and 6-5th place finishes. The Grenada team placed 13th overall with total of 107 ahead of all other OECS countries, reinforcing it position as the Champions in the OECS region.
Coach Gerson Escobar directed Grenada’s national team preparation, which involved weeks of intense training in preparation for Carfita and the results are paying off. The swimmers training was also supported by combined pool and dry land training from Ronald Charles and personal trainer Suzanne LaTouche. The many hours of dedicated support from the technical team, parents, administrators and corporate sponsors George F Huggins and the National Lotteries Authority must be commended. GASA is also grateful for the support received from the Government of Grenada and the Grenada Olympic Committee. This support continues to remain critical for Grenada’s participation in these regional events.
While the performances of our swimmers continue to improve, it is not without challenge. GASA remains saddled with inadequate facilities for the training of our athletes. Parents had to make the additional sacrifice to bring swimmers in 3 days prior to the competition in order to facilitate their acclimatisation from training in a 25-yard pool to competing in a 50m pool. GASA continues to call for support for the establishment of a proper aquatic facility to support the development of the swimming in Grenada.