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National Swimmers Return From Successful UANA Swimming Cup

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Antigua and Barbuda’s National Swim Team returned
from Lima, Peru on Tuesday after participating in the UANA Swimming Cup hosted
by Union Americana de Natacion (UANA).  The event was held at The Videna Aquatic
Complex, February 21st – 23rd, 2020.

Leading the team’s stellar performance was Tivon
Benjamin
who returned home with one gold and one bronze medal in 100 meters
freestyle and 50 meters butterfly respectively.

Swimming in the Boys 11 – 12 age-group, Tivon
also delivered top-ten performances, and personal best times, in each of the
six events that he swam. His gold-medal time of 56.98 in the 100 meters
freestyle also gave him the new National Age Group Record (NAGR), and was his third
NAGR record for the meet; the first being in the 400 meters freestyle where he
posted a time of 4:42.52, and the other in the 100 meters backstroke with a
time of 1:09.78.

Thrilling performances were also delivered by
the other members of the team, including a AAA (triple-A) qualifying time by Sydnee
Hesse
in Girls 11 – 12 50 meters freestyle.

Sydnee’s time of 30.25 is the first step for
her to qualify for the upcoming Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming
Confederation (CCCAN) Championships to be held later this year – a meet which
requires two AAA times for participation.

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Teammate Angelique Gittens swam to a
personal best and new NAGR with a time of 1:09.34 in the Girls 13 – 14 100 meters
butterfly event and secured a personal best of 2:22.05 in the 200 meters
freestyle. She also secured her second AAA time, and CCCAN qualification, with
a 31.33 in the 50 meters butterfly.

Tony Goodwin, swimming in the Boys 13 – 14
age-group, delivered personal best times in seven of the eight events that he
swam, missing some AAA qualifying times by mere hundredths of a second in some
cases. This puts him in a good position to secure his CCCAN qualifying times in
the upcoming National Swimming Championships later this month.

Although Team Captain Olivia Fuller and
teammate Selah Wilthsire fell ill during the meet, they both persevered
and delivered brave performances in the pool, with Selah achieving a personal
best in the 100 meters breaststroke and a top-ten performance in the 50 meters breaststroke.

Speaking of the swimmers’ performances, Head
Coach Nelson Molina said, “I am extremely pleased by the focus that the
swimmers had for this meet and I am proud of their performances. I would like
to congratulate Tivon on his excellent medal performances and the entire team
on a job well done. They competed against the best and they did extremely
well.”

Adding to that praise was ABSF President Derek
Marshall
who said, “I would like to congratulate the entire team for their
excellent performances. We fielded a small, young team but they delivered, and
they represented Antigua and Barbuda with pride. It should be noted that the
UANA Cup is a premier meet in the hemisphere with strong representation from
the likes of Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.”

Local swimming action continues with the 7th
National Swimming Championships, February,28th to March 1st, 2020 at the
Viper’s Aquatic Facility located at Langfords.

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