Swimming coach optimistic about Guyana’s Goodwill medal prospects
By Treiston Joseph
National senior coach, Sean Baksh, is optimistic about Guyana’s ability to do well at the Goodwill Caribbean Junior Swim Meet, to be hosted in approximately two months’ time.
With Guyana looking to develop its swimmers, the Goodwill Meet has been a litmus test for the best juniors in the nation and Baksh sees Guyana performing well at the event, which will attract competitors from five Caribbean countries.
“We have some good swimmers that can medal and hold their own in the pool, we have the winter siblings, Leon Seaton, Alika Persaud just to name a few, but we expect some medals and for the athletes to go out and perform,” Baksh told News Room Sport in an exclusive interview.
Baksh also talked a bit about the preparation the team has been going through. “Training is going good…I have four other coaches with me and we are ensuring that they do the drills they need to ahead of the time trials after which we hope to cut the 65 we have training to 40, but so far the weather has been making it a bit difficult.”
Due to the National Aquatic Centre at Liliendaal being an outdoor facility, the recent inclement weather has played its role in hampering preparation.
“It’s not necessarily the weather, but person not turning up because of the weather, once there is lightning and thunder there is no training but persons that come from far want to get home because of the weather,” Baksh mentioned.
Guyana will face some stiff competition come August and Baksh pinpointed some of the countries he expects to give the ‘Land of Many Waters’ a tough challenge.
“Trinidad always comes to win at this meet and we have invited Bahamas who has a lot of talent, then there is Jamaica and Barbados that always does well too, but we expect good competition. Suriname will also be here, but we have swimmers that will do well too,” Baksh noted.
Baksh also gave some insight into what the swimming association and coaches are hoping to accomplish at the meet, which is really used as a springboard for young swimmers.
“This is the only development meet in the Caribbean and that is why we try to keep the countries limited…It really is a test to see where our swimmers are ahead of Carifta and that is what it is for, so we can then go and improve ahead of Carifta,” Baksh highlighted.
This will be the 23rd edition of the Goodwill Swim Meet, set for August 18 to 21, and it will feature seven countries, namely Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Grenada, The Bahamas and Guyana.