Local swimmers lauded for record-breaking feats at national championships
Stabroek News
December 9, 2006

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Former national swimming coach Vibert Charles has lauded the performances of the local swimmers at the recently-concluded Guyana Swimming Association (GSA) National Champion-ships saying he was happy to learn that so many records were broken.

"It certainly speaks well for the administrative arrangements reference the meet and also to the effort put in by the swimmers, coaches, and meet officials," Charles said in an interview with Stabroek Sport.

He added that he was glad to hear that Trinidad-based Guyanese Onan Thom participated and set new records at the meet "because it certainly acts as a filip and a challenge to our young and upcoming swimmers."

Speaking from a coaching point of view, Charles said Niall Roberts has proven to be the most consistent swimmer in breaking and setting new records over the last two years and he predicted that in the future, Roberts will secure medals in his age group, and subsequently in the open categories at regional and international levels.

"I say this while still being conscious of his good performance at the Caribbean level, and with a view beyond that grouping. I trust that he and his coach will continue the progressive training that he is going through."

Charles also congratulated the other swimmers and urged the unsuccessful ones to train harder in an effort to reap good rewards.

The recently-concluded championships saw 32 age-group records being broken. In addition, Thom set five course records for the Castellani Pool - in one case breaking a record which had been in place for 26 years - that of Maurice Faria, set in 1980 in the 200m breaststroke. Faria's time of 3:01.10 was eclipsed by Thom's 2:32.46.

Meanwhile, Guyana will be represented at the Trinidad and Tobago Annual Club Invitational Meet to be held from December 14-17 in the twin-island republic.

Six swimmers from the Dorado Swim Club and four from the Orca Club will join Thom in Trinidad.

The Dorado contingent comprises Yannick and Niall Roberts, Mark and Alan Lowe, Noelle Smith and Benjamin Griffith while those making the tour for Orca are Earlando McRae, Jamal Sobers, Krystyl Robinson and Juliana Archer.

The meet will be used by the local swimmers to qualify for the Pan American Games to be held in Brazil next year as well as other FINA-recognized meets next year.

Roberts' siblings along with Henk Lowe and Smith also broke records at the recent local championships.

The local athletes under manager Stephanie Fraser will leave Guyana for Trinidad on December 13.