Grenada’s 34-member OECS swim team returned to the island on 10 November accompanied by Senator Norland Cox, Minister for Sports, Youth and Culture after retaining their title as the OECS Swim Champion for the fifth consecutive year.
It was a proud moment for Grenada to have Senator Cox on hand to witness the team’s performance over the three days of the competition. The minister’s presence at this OECS Championship outside of Grenada is the first time in Grenada swimming history. The team was overjoyed by his presence and it contributed to motivating the performance of our swimmers.
Following three days of intense competition Grenada remained triumphant against their OECS counterparts. Grenada ended Friday night’s competition in the lead, and maintained the lead throughout. At the end of Sunday’s competition Grenada secured the win with 1,249 points followed by St Lucia with 1,121.5 points, St Vincent in third with 1,116 points, Antigua with 794 points and St Kitts & Nevis with 57.5 points.
The team was able to establish nine new OECS records listed below:
- Girls: 11-14 200M Freestyle Relay – 1:52.43
- Girls: 11-14 200M Medley Relay – 2.02.94
- Jaaziel Francis: Boys 8 & Under 25M Freestyle – 14.74
- Kimberly Ince: Girls 13-14 100M Back – 1:06.22
- Kimberly Ince: Girls 13-14 200 IM – 2.28.93
- Kimberly Ince: Girls 13-14 50M Back – 30.49
- Nixe Ogilvie: Girls 18 & O 200 IM – 2.24.57
- Zackary Gresham: Boys 13-14 100M Back 59.83
- Zackary Gresham: Boys 13-14 50M Back 28.02
Grenada also walked away with five age group titles:
- Jaaziel Francis – Boys 8 & Under
- Sara Dowden – Girls 11-12
- Nathan Fletcher – Boys 11-12
- Kimberly Ince – Girls 13-14
- Zackary Gresham – Boys 13-14
Team Manager, Nigel Ollivierre commenting on the win stated, “while we had a number of new entrants to the OECS stage, they were ably supported by a strong technical team of Coaches Gerson Escobar, Damique Walters and Nataly Sierra. The technical team was able to harness the strengths of the individual team members that manifested numerous medals and personal best performances.”
President of GASA, Peron Johnson who also accompanied the team highlighted that the realisation of the OECS championship for five consecutive times is a team effort. “It is not the accomplishment of any one swimmer. Each swimmer has a role to play, and the support of a cohesive technical team coupled with support from critical stakeholders is vital to make this happen.” Once again our team was able to travel with a team physiotherapist to assist the swimmers pre and post-race. This is a direct input from the Ministry of Sports as they have demonstrated increasing support toward the development of the Sport.
The 2020 OECS Swim Championship will head to St Lucia for 2020. Grenada looks forward to the establishment of the National Aquatic Facility in order to be considered as a host venue in the near future.
Once team has recovered from the recent championship qualifying team members will turn their energies to preparation for the UANA Swim Championship in February and Carifta for 2020.
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