Olympian Persaud leads eight-member swim team to South American Championship

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The Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) has selected an eight-member swim team for the South American Junior Swimming Championship from October 30 to November 14 in Peru, and leading the pack is the country’s youngest-ever Olympian, Aleka Persaud.

The other swimmers selected are Leon Seaton Jr., Paul Mahaica Jr., Daniel Claxton, Elliott Gonsalves, Sekhel Tzedeq, Patrice Mahaica and Ariel Rodrigues.

The Junior Championships were initially set to be held in Bolivia, but the COVID-19 situation forced the switch in the host nation.

GASA President Dwayne Scott

According to GASA President, Dwayne Scott, the event forms part of the Association’s endeavour to give exposure since they have Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualification in mind.

Scott said this Junior Championship is part of the youth development plan for 19 athletes the Association has “long-listed” since they want to qualify for the Olympics based on entry standard time and not the Universality spots.

It is also part of the process of building a potential relay team, whose aim will also be Olympic qualification.

He re-emphasised since it is very costly to get athletes to overseas high-performance training stints, part of the discussions they are continuously having with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, and the Guyana Olympic Association, is to find ways to develop the athletes right here in Guyana and give exposure to test their improvement at competitions.

Scott said there is no limitation on the number of events a swimmer can enter at the Championships.

Additionally, the GASA head indicated the event is not a qualifier for the Junior Pan American Games, which will be held later in the year in Colombia.

The President said the association held its qualification meet on August 22 and subsequently shortlisted Paul Mahaica, Patrice Mahaica, Leon Seaton Jr., and Persaud to represent Guyana.

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