Swim coach praises Trinidad and Tobago team's Beach Games campaign

TT swimmers Nikoli Blackman, from left, Amelia Rajack, coach Maurice Faria, Shania David and Zachary Anthony. -
TT swimmers Nikoli Blackman, from left, Amelia Rajack, coach Maurice Faria, Shania David and Zachary Anthony. -

HEAD coach Maurice Faria of the TT swim team who participated at the Central American and Caribbean Sea and Beach Games commended the effort of his athletes as most of them were juniors competing against senior athletes.

The event ended on Saturday in Santa Marta, Magdalena, in Colombia.

In the mixed 4x1K relay the TT quartet of Amelia Rajack, Shania David, Nikoli Blackman and Zachary Anthony finished sixth and last in 50 minutes and 33.56 seconds (58:33.56). Mexico took gold in the race in 52:23.59.

In the 5K open water men’s event, Blackman placed eighth in one hour, ten minutes and 37.04 seconds (1:10:37.04) while Anthony was ninth in 1:10:37.65 in the field of 16. In the women’s equivalent, David placed 16th (1:21:03.93) and Rajack 17th (1:21:27.91). A total of 17 athletes competed in the women’s race.

In the 3K men’s event, Blackman (38:42.51) and Anthony (38:43.13) finished 11th and 12th respectively.

Rajack clocked 44:16.57 to place 15th in the women’s 3K event which included 18 athletes. David completed the course in 44:55.35 to end 16th.

“Our performance suited the age group we went with,” Faria said.

Rajack and Anthony still compete in the 13-14 age group, Blackman is a 15-17 age group athlete and David was TT’s only senior athlete.

“Our little young people were the youngest that swam that event. I am not using that as an excuse or anything what I am just saying these are the times that they are qualifying with for TT and they going to swim against people who went to the Olympics already.”

Blackman is one of TT’s most promising swimmers and has been competing regularly in 2022. Faria said his workload may be starting to take a toll on him. “Blackman did not improve his times, but Blackman has entered so much meets for this year…the two 13-14 year olds are the ones that improved.

“David tried her best, but I think she could have been better.”

Faria, who has 40 years experience in coaching, said in the relay he allowed Blackman to swim first in an effort to get a strong start. He got TT off to a positive start, but the team faded in the other legs.

TT swimmers continue to be competitive among other Caribbean athletes, but Faria said it is challenging for TT swimmers to achieve top performances against Central and South American swimmers.

Faria thanked the organisers of the meet and the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) for the support.

“We were well looked after. There were no complaints in that meet. I felt like the athletes can’t complain at all about where they stayed and what TTOC did for them.”


"Swim coach praises Trinidad and Tobago team’s Beach Games campaign"

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