The Bahamas Aquatics Federation (BAF) has sent a three-member team to the 7th FINA (International Swimming Federation) World Junior Swimming Championships, which is set to begin today at the Duna Arena in Budapest, Hungary. The six-day competition wraps up on Sunday.
The team is made up of three of the top junior boys in the country. Representing The Bahamas are DaVante Carey, Izaak Bastian and Lamar Taylor. The team’s Head Coach is Sara Knowles and Drew Bastian is assisting her. The team manager is Rochelle Bastian.
The three-member team arrived in Budapest on Friday.
“Everyone has acclimated really well,” said Knowles. “They have trained all season and during the summer so everyone is looking really good in the pool. The facility is fantastic and the swimmers feel good in the water. We have been training everyday.”
The team had its final practice session yesterday, and competition gets underway today. Knowles expects great swims from all three team members.
Carey and Bastian will be swimming in four events each. Carey will be in the pool swimming the 50 and 100 meters (m) backstroke events, and the 50 and 100m butterfly events. Bastian will take part in the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke events. In addition, he will swim in the 50m freestyle event.
Taylor, the youngest member of the team, will be swimming in five events – the 50 and 100m freestyle events, the 50 and 100m backstroke events, and the 50m butterfly. Entering this meet, the 16-year-old Grand Bahamian’s seed times in the backstroke events are 27.14 seconds and 59.72 seconds respectively. His seed times in the butterfly events are 23.33 and 52.58 seconds respectively; and his seed time in the 50m butterfly event is 25.60 seconds.
Bastian is known for his breaststroke ability, although he possesses tremendous talent in all four strokes. In the 50 and 100m breaststroke events, his seed times are 28.23 seconds and 1:02.41 respectively. He has a seed time of 2:18.03 in the 200m breaststroke event and a seed time of 23.18 seconds in the 50m freestyle.
Carey’s seed times in the 50 and 100m backstroke events are 26.46 and 58.64 seconds respectively. In the 50 and 100m butterfly events, his seed times are 25.03 and 55.54 seconds respectively.
All three athletes are no strangers to representing the country at big meets.
Bastian, who is going into his second year at Florida State University (FSU), had a busy year. In addition to school commitments, he represented The Bahamas at the 2019 CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Barbados in April, and earlier this month he swam at the highly competitive FINA World Championships in Gwanju, South Korea. Bastian was also a member of the national team at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games last year.
Carey and Taylor were also at CARIFTA this year, helping The Bahamas to a third straight championship. They then swam at the 2019 Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Swimming Championships in June.
Carey, a recent graduate of St. Augustine’s College (SAC), was also a part of the 10-member Bahamian team that swam at the 18th Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, earlier this month. He has had an extensive season and has gained a lot of experience.
In action today for The Bahamas will be Carey and Taylor in the heats of the 100m backstroke event. Bastian will compete in the heats of the 100m breaststroke today also. The finals will be this evening.
The Bahamian swimmers will have Wednesday and Sunday off.
The championships began in 2006 and is held biennially. It was organized for girls, ages 14-17 and boys, ages 15-18. The Bahamian team will be going up against some of the best junior swimmers in the world.
Jump Line – The young Bahamians will be going up against some of the best junior swimmers in the world
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism