Olympic hopeful Seaton Jr. making gains in Florida


By Akeem Greene

National swimmer Leon Seaton Jr. is making noticeable strides on his FINA Scholarship in Florida. After just two weeks of training, the 16-year-old is faster than before.

Seaton Jr. has been at Azura Florida Aquatics since the start of this month and swam his first meet (short course) this past weekend.

Notably, since March he was not able to train when he was in Guyana, but still managed to significantly lower his entry time.

In the 50m Freestyle, he entered seeded 46th with a time 24.75s and managed to finish 18th with 23.01s, while in the 100m Freestyle, he was seeded 35th with an entry time of 53.13s and managed to bring that down to 50.11s.

He also swam the 100m Backstroke, entering with 1:03.56s and finishing 11th out of 31 with a time of 59.35s. Seaton Jr. entered the 200m Backstroke with 2:00.11s and came out with 1:53.25s.

“I am extremely pleased with it being only two weeks into the scholarship and I have already hit the pool just to test my strengths after being out of the pool since March; it has been a great show for me,” he told News Room Sport on Tuesday.

“I came when the Azura team was actually in a taper because most of the swimmers went to the US Open to try and see if they can qualify [for Olympics] and one girl did. The regimen is very rough, but not that challenging, the only thing challenging is the kick sets and I trying hard to keep up with the pack.”

Seaton Jr. has been making significant improvements two weeks into his five-month stint

The Olympic qualification will come from his exploits on the long course events, but Seaton Jr. still felt this is a positive start.

The scholarship will last for five months and with the start, he is even more enthused he will make the qualification time.

“I don’t have any doubts about that after the five months; I can assure everyone. The training regime is very tough out here. It is not totally different, but I am adapting to the work and I should be able to qualify.”

Seaton Jr. hopes he can qualify through the FINA sanctioned CARIFTA Games, scheduled for April 1-4, 2021, in Barbados.

If unsuccessful, there are meets in the USA he plans to pursue to make the qualification.

In the event he does not meet those times, he can still attend the Games since only swimming and athletics will have universality (wild card) places at the Tokyo Olympics, while all others will have to qualify.

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