Team Jamaica depart for ASATT Champs
A group of local swimmers will depart the island tomorrow and is expecting to have the support of the new Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) as the group of swimmers from various clubs ventures to Couva, Trinidad, in search of year-end best times.
The Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad & Tobago Invitation Swimming Championships is fast becoming a staple swim meet for local standouts seeking the stiffer competitors who contest this meet from some regional countries.
The ASATT Invitational Swimming Championship is an annual regional championship which is held mid-December each year. It is from these early beginnings that most of Jamaica's elite athletes have evolved, such as four-time Olympian and two-time world-record holder, Alia Atkinson.
The meet dates back to 1979 at the Marlins pool, where it was staged up until last year, as Marlins had the only 50m pool in the eastern and southern Caribbean. The meet has since been moved to the newly constructed National Aquatic Centre pool. This year's staging is the 38th and has attracted over 400 swimmers from Barbados, Guyana, St Lucia, Sierra Leone, Trinidad & Tobago, and Jamaica.
The 2015 staging saw pieces of Jamaica's history being written by Kaizen's Zaneta Alvaranga by way of three new national age group records being produced. Three swimming barriers were also broken. It was the first time a 9-10 female swimmer broke the 30-second barrier for the 50-metre freestyle (29.59), the first time under the 33-second barrier in the 50-metre butterfly (31.35) and the first time under 1:08.00-barrier in the 100-metre freestyle (1:07.33).
Kaizen's Head Coach Rory Alvaranga said, "ASATT will be the December meet for his swimmers for more reasons than one." Alvaranga highlighted that "the support team tries to mimic a team-travelling scenario similar to a national/tour team from the housing arrangements to the eating as a team."
He said, "Travelling to meets like this allows the swimmers to develop the mental aptitude required to compete at higher levels like CARIFTA and beyond."
Six of the athletes have already represented Jamaica at the CARIFTA Swimming Championships and other international games.
List of swimmers:
- Kaizen Swim Club: Imani Salmon, Layllani Foster, Khiara Roomes, Kaheem Lozer, Zaneta Alvaranga.
- Marlins Swim Club: Sayidah Brown, Giana Francis, Christanya Shirley, Kokolo Foster.
- Sailfish Swim Academy: Raina Hutchinson, Kara Hutchinson.
- YSpeedos: Naomi Eaton, Karci Gibson, Callier Maxwell, Saamanta Selvon, Sage Sinclair, Chester Adams, Akeem Alleyne Danbte Duet, Ernest Hoo Kim, Javaun Jackson, Zack-Andre Johnson, Jordane Payne, Kyle Sinclair, Brandon Wong.