The Annual National Age Group Short Course Swimming Championships is expected to begin today, and continue until Sunday, at the National Aquatic Centre, Couva.
And Wendell Lai Hing, president of the local governing body ASATT (Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago), is anticipating a smooth running of the four-day Meet.
“(Yesterday) we tested out the system because we haven’t had a Meet there since July,” Lai Hing said. “The system has been tested. Everything is operational.”
There were problems relating to the readiness of the pools at the venue, with a local contractor being hired by the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT) to clean the three pools at the venue – main pool, warm-up pool and diving pool.
SporTT Chairman Dinanath Ramnarine told Newsday on Tuesday the machinery to clean the pool had broken down and a new one was yet to arrive from the US. In the interim, the local contractor was brought in to get the pool ready for the Championships.
The ASATT president said, “The pools, contrary to what I have read, are up. All three pools are functional and are in top order. We have 250 entries for this meet. We’ll convert the (main) pool to 25 metres and everybody is anticipating a fantastic meet.”
Approximately 13 clubs will be represented at the Championships.
“It’s only UTT that’s not taking part. They have their challenges,” Lai Hing said.
Among the top names who will be participating are Graham Chatoor, Jeron Thompson and Kael Yorke.
The Championships will feature events today (heats) and tomorrow (finals), starting at 6 pm each day, while events, both on Saturday and Sunday, will start at 9 am (heats) and 6 pm (finals).
“The only two races that will go as timed finals are the 800 and the 1500 metres,” Lai Hing said. “I am pleased to see we have in excess of 21 athletes taking part in the 800 and about 10 taking part in the 1500.
“We have a challenge with distance swimming throughout the region so we feel our swimmers are now warming up to the whole idea of swimming these longer races.”
The 2017 local swimming season will conclude with the ASATT Invitational from December 14-17 at the Aquatic Centre.