Four swimmers representing Antigua and Barbuda will depart for Gwangju, South Korea, today, to compete at 18th FINA world Championships to be held at the state-of-the-art Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Centre from July 21st -28th.
The four-member team of swimmers comprises of Samantha Roberts, Olivia Fuller, Noah Mascoll Gomes and Stefano Mitchell.
Travelling with the team is Head Coach Mark Mitchell and Team Manager AnnaMaria Mitchell.
Coach Mitchell shared his confidence in the various swimmers.
“Sam, Olivia, Noah and Stefano have all recently competed at CCCAN and performed well, so I am very excited to see how they will perform against the world’s best in Gwangju. While the meets are extremely close on the calendar and the travel time to South Korea is long, I know that Antigua and Barbuda is being represented well, and our swimmers will deliver great performances.”
He added, “CCCAN offered the swimmers a chance to compete in a 50 meters pool against a high level of competition and that was a boost to their confidence.”
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation (ABSF), Dr. Derek Marshall also joined in congratulating the swimmers on their selection to the national team and the improvements the Federation is making.
“On behalf of the entire ABSF Executive, and the national swim fraternity, I would like to congratulate all the swimmers on their selection to the national team. I know that they will carry Antigua and Barbuda’s flag with pride, and they will do the nation proud.
“Being able to send a team to regional and international events, especially the World Championships, is an important step in the development of swimming and I urge everyone to support the swimmers heading to Gwangju.”
The FINA World Championships occurs every two years and is the premier event for aquatic sports, outside of the Olympics.
This year, under the banner of “Dive into peace”, 15,000 athletes from more than 200 countries will compete in what is billed as the ‘biggest aquatics festival in history’.
Six aquatic sports, to include swimming, open-water swimming, water polo, diving, high diving, and artistic swimming, will compete in five venues in Gwangju.
Forty-two gold medals will be up for grabs in the various pool-based swimming disciplines, and the competition will host the top names in swimming as they seek glory and prepare for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, in 2020.
The nation’s two-member national swim team for the 2020 Olympics will be chosen from the four competitors attending the World Championships in Gwangju.
Antigua and Barbuda’s swimmers will be represented on the world stage at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, from July 26th to August 11th and then in Budapest, Hungary for the 7th FINA Junior World Swimming Championships from August 20th – 25th.