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CARIFTA Swimming Trials set for this weekend

The Caribbean Free Trade Association(CARIFTA)Trials, in the sport of swimming, will be held this weekend at the Betty Kelly Kenning National Aquatics Centre. The meet, which will be hosted by the Bahamas Swimming Federation(BSF), will get underway at 5:00 p.m. this evening, and will continue tomorrow morning.

Top junior swimmers will vie for spots on this year’s team set to travel to Bridgetown, Barbados, for the championships over the Easter Holiday weekend, April 23-26. President Algernon Cargill is expecting a good meet, but knows that the performances may not be up to par due to issues surrounding the usage of the pool.

He said:”We expect the trials to go well, obviously the results overall will be impacted by what has happened with the pool. The swimmers, they have been out of water for such a long time but there are still some swimmers who will shine. Nonetheless, we believe overall the performances will be somewhat impacted by the fact the swimmers were not able to train as much as they would have liked in 2011. The severe weather that we had over the last couple of months has impacted the team, particularly with the pool being down. It was hard for them to train.”

The qualifying standards were set by the BSF. Cargill explains that only those who achieve such standards will travel, despite wanting to take a full team to the meet. The squad will be ratified on Monday after the council meeting.

“One of the things that we are doing differently, we are committed to only taking qualifiers to CARIFTA so we expect to field a full team, but it will be a team of qualifiers,”said Cargill.”In other words, if someone has not qualified according to our qualifying standards, they will not be considered for the team in any respect.”

The team will start to train together after ratification. The Head Coach will be Andy Knowles. Training sessions will be every weekend giving those qualified athletes opportunities to continue training with their respective clubs. Focus will be turned to the relays during these practice sessions.

For the last four years, The Bahamas has finished in the top three. Cargill is expecting the same or better results this time. He said:”Primarily the team is strong overall, but we do have an opportunity to develop a younger age group, so this age group, is the area where we are going to have the most opportunity for improvements, but certainly, our seniors we expect to be very strong.”

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