Swimmers record satisfactory times at World Championships
By Leeron Brumell
Guyana Chronicle
August 10, 2003

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GUYANA’S four-member contingent to the just concluded 10th FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, though not medalling, recorded personal best times in their aquatic events.

The team comprising Asanti Mickle, Ronald Ying, overseas-based Onan Thom and manager/coach/chaperone Stephanie Fraser are all satisfied with their improvements, though a bit disappointed at not picking up any medals.

Fraser feels that her charges did well due to the fact that they only have a total of 6-7 hours weekly access to the Colgrain and Castellani swimming pools as compared with the other countries that train four hours and more on a daily basis.

“We don’t have the endurance because of the lack of training time allotted to us … I’m personally going to push for more hours … because we are on par with the other swimmers.”

She said Guyana was singled out as possessing excellent swimming techniques, which she felt further put the country on the map.

She said the disadvantage with Guyana’s swimmers is that they lack endurance to maintain top speed and rhythm.

The events were all time-based since some 157 countries participated in the event. Mickle and Ying won two of their heats, while Thom who was in a higher class was victorious in one of his heats.

Mickle registered times of 40.03 secs in the 50m-breaststroke and 1:30:94 in the 100m; and 30:60 and 1:08:61 respectively in the freestyle.

Ying registered 34:98 and 1:21:44 in the breaststroke and 26:35 and 59:44 in the 50 and 100m freestyle events. Ying however, was capable of better times but was affected by the high altitude.

Thom, who participated in six events clocked 32:26 and 1:10:56 in the 50 and 100m breaststroke, 24:84 and 55:44 over the same distance in the freestyle, and 28:28 and 1:03:91 in the backstroke.

Fraser said the swimmers were motivated by the world rated swimmers such as Alexander Popov and others that they met in person.

Ying felt that he did not perform that well but was happy that he did make some improvements on his timing.

The 18-year-old athlete says he was trying to make a good qualifying time for the 2004 Olympic games but was hampered by the climate, since the championship was held in the Olympic City way up in the mountains and overlooking Barcelona.

Ying was selected for the Goodwill championship involving Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname, but will not be making the trip because of financial reasons.

His next meet will be in St Lucia in October.

Thom is currently at the Pan-American Championships in Santo Domingo.

While at the games the Guyanese swimmers were also boosted through the knowledge shared by Maritza Correia, American record holder in the 50m freestyle event with a time of 21.69 which she clocked when she broke fellow American Any Van Dyken’s mark.

Correia, or ‘Ritz’ as friends and family call her also has a number of other records to her name.

She is also of Guyanese parents, but spent the first few years of her life in Puerto Rico before moving to the United States.

Also known as the ‘Quiet Assassin’ she is known for being one of the best relay anchors in the world.

Guyana is currently preparing a Goodwill squad for the championship scheduled for Suriname from August 14-17.

The swimmers train on a daily basis at the Colgrain pool in Camp Street.

The selection committee of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) has named some 20 swimmers for the championships but the contingent is expected to be smaller due to financial constraints.

Vibert Charles and Edna Rodrigues are coaching the swimmers.

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