Aleka Persaud caps off recording-breaking outing by Guyana in UAE

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While they did not cop medals, Olympian Aleka Persaud and Patrice Mahaica rewrote national records at the ongoing FINA World Championships (Short Course- 25m) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The 15-year-old Persaud became the first female in Guyana to dip below 27 seconds in the 50m freestyle when she swam 26.86 seconds to win her heat.  Despite being the only person to dip below 27 seconds in the heat, she still did not qualify for the next round.

Patrice Mahaica (left) stands with American Olympic Gold medallist Michael Andrew

Persaud equalled the national record in qualifying for the event – 27.74s set by Brittany Van Lange – and now how holds both the Short Course and Long Course (50m) records.

She achieved the Long Course record at this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo where she swam 27.76s, which eclipsed her entry time of 28.10s, and she was the first female Guyanese swimmer ever to go under 28 seconds.

Earlier in the Championships, the Olympian broke another record when she became the first female to dip below one minute in the 100m Freestyle.

Van Lange swam one minute and 01.46 seconds and it stood as the National record since August 12, 2011, but Persaud lowered that to 59.70 seconds.

Additionally, Mahaica clocked 32.91 seconds in the 50m Backstroke, which erased 32.99s set by Onika George in October 2013, and also did the same in the 100m event.

Raekwon Noel (right) and Jamaica’s World Record holder, Alia Atkinson

The new record is 01:12.24s, which is significantly quicker than 01:13.17s held by Soroya Simmons, which she achieved in August 2011.

Meanwhile, Olympian Andrew Fowler achieved new Personal Best (PB) times in the 50m Freestyle (24.58s) and 25.95s in the 50m Butterfly, while Raekwon Noel clocked five new PBs.

The 15-year-old Noel lowered his times in the 50m Freestyle (27.00s), 100m Freestyle (57.64s), 200m Freestyle (2:06.28s), 50m Butterfly (27.94s) and 100m Butterfly (1:00.25s).

Coach of the contingent, Sean Baksh, in an invited comment, told News Room Sport on Monday, it was a great end to the year for swimming given the record-breaking performances by the girls in all of their competitions and the boys being able to lower their personal best times.

Baksh also believed the performances will motivate the other swimmers for the events in 2022.

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