The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Swimming Federation (SVGSF) this year registered its best performance in the OECS Swimming Championships, the 31st edition of which was held in St. Lucia from Nov. 10 to 12.
SVG finished 3rd overall (with the boys in second and the girls in third) in the competition in which Antigua and Grenada tied for first place, with teams from Martinique and St. Kitts and Nevis also competing.
“The SVG performance was very impressive given we had a team of 26 swimmers while the joint winners had teams of 34 swimmers,” the federation said in a press release.
The Vincentian team was composed of 26 swimmers (14 males and 12 females) and was the first country to include a para-athlete (Kentreal Kydd) in its team.
The SVG Swimming Federation said they were very pleased with the results of the individual swimmers.
“Twelve years ago, SVG swimming won … 4 bronze medals by two swimmers and we were very pleased at that time. This year Team SVG brought home … 92 individual medals (72 last year) which included 29 golds, 33 silvers and 30 bronze medals,” the federation said.
“In addition, our relay teams won 2 gold, 6 silvers and 3 bronze medals,” the press release further stated, adding that 22 of the 26 Team SVG swimmers brought home medals and three swimmers broke OECS records.
“This is clear evidence of the tremendous progress that has been made.”
SVG also had the youngest swimmer — Zane Dabriel — in the competition. Dabriel, 5, swam in the boys age 8 and under category and performed “credibly”.
“We also note that a total of 9 SVG national records were set. Kennice [Greene] set five new national standards, while Belle Adams, Caghry Williams, Kione Deshong and Tayeah St Hilaire broke one record each.
The federation noted that the team’s participation in the meet was supported by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Olympic Committee and the National Lottery.
It pointed out that SVG will host the championships in 2024, adding, “and we hope to obtain support from the National Lottery and the private sector to help us to put on an excellent event”.
The federation also lauded the effort of Head Coach, Kyle Dougan and his assistant, Tamarah St. Hilaire as well as Brain George who was team manager.
• Matthew Ballah won the age 13 to 14 championship with 87 points. He won 7 gold, two silvers and one bronze medals
• Tayeah St. Hilaire accumulated 84 points in winning the overall girls age 11 to 12 category. She won 6 gold and 3 silver medals. St. Hilaire also broke the 100 meters butterfly OECS record.
• Kennice Greene broke 3 OECS records in the 50- and 100-metre butterfly events as well as the 50-metre freestyle event. She was the overall champion in the girls age 15 to 17 age group. Greene finished with 5 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.
•Zariel Nelson (girls aged 13 to 14) broke the OECS 50-metre freestyle record in her age group while picking up the gold. She also won a silver medal.
• The relay teams won 2 gold medals, 6 silver and 3 bronze medals. This included:
O Gold in the boys 200-metre medley relay (age 11 to 14 category), swam by Matthew Ballah, Tyler Robinson, Hazen Dabriel and Seth Byron.
O Gold in mixed 200-metre freestyle relay (age 11 to 14), swam by Matthew Ballah, Tayeah St Hilaire, Zariel Nelson and Seth Byron.
O Silver in the girls 200-metre medley relay (age 11 to 14), swam by Kathyrn Cumberbatch, Eltonique Leonard, Tayeah St Hilaire and Zariel Nelson.
O Silver in the girls 15 and over 200-metre medley relay, swam by Kevern DaSilva, Abigail Deshong, Kennice Greene and Rhema Robinson.
O Silver in the mixed age 10 & under 200-metre freestyle relay, swam by Caghry Williams, Belle Adams, Kione Deshong and Skylar Byron.
O Silver in the mixed 15 and over 200-metre freestyle relay, swam by Eltonte Leonard, Abigail Deshong, Kennice Greene and Kenale Alleyne.
• Caghry Williams (Boys aged 9 to 10) won two gold, 5 silver and 1 bronze medals. He finished with 59 points and was second in his overall age group championship.
• Kione Deshong (Boys aged 9 to 10) won two gold, 2 silver and four bronze medals. He was third in his overall age group championship.
• Belle Adams (Girls aged 9 to 10) won 1 gold, 3 silvers and 1 bronze medal. She placed second in her overall age group championship.
• Ayibanua (Nua) Griffith (girls aged 8 & under) won 5 silver medals and placed second overall in her age group.
• Eltonique Leonard (girls 11 to 12) won 2 silver and 5 bronze medals while placing 3rd overall in her age group.
• Hazen Dabriel (boys aged 13 to 14) won 2 silver and 3 bronze medals.
• Nikolas Sylvester (boys aged 18 & over) won 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals while placing 3rd overall in his age group.
Additional individual medal winners were:
• Tyler Robinson (boys aged 11 to 12) won 2 gold medals
• Seth Byron (boys 13 to 14) won 5 bronze medals
• Kenale Alleyne (boys 18 & over) won 1 silver and 3 bronze medals
• Saj Caesar (boys aged 8 & under) won 1 gold medal
• Eltonte Leonard (boys aged 15 to 17) won 1 gold medal
• Kevern DaSilva (girls 15 to 17) won 2 silver medals
• Abigail Deshong (girls 15 to17) won 2 silver medals
• Brandon George (boys 15 to 17) won 1 silver medal
• Amelia DesVignes (girls 8 & under) won 1 bronze medal
• Rheema Robinson (girl 15 to 17) won 1 bronze medal