Swimmers To Compete For OECS Spots During Invitational Meet

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Close to 100 swimmers are set to compete this weekend for places on the country’s OECS swim team when the Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation (ABSF) hosts the fifth instalment of its Oasis Water Invitational at the Vipers Swimming Pool in Langfords.  
Technical director and executive member for the federation, Edith Clashing, said the event will start on October 19 at 6:00 p.m. and will cater for a number of age groups.
“We are going to have an opening ceremony on Saturday and we will also be doing the launching of the OECS Swimming Championships at the same time. And,  we would be recognising participants of our recently held open water clinic for officials that was held right at the end of September. So, we’re making one big grand thing of it and we want the public to come out and be with us and see some good swimming,” she said.
“We will have children from six [years old] and over and we are expecting about 85 swimmers to take part in the meet and that’s a bit up from our previous meets so we have a lot of young ones who have now joined the competitive stream and they will be making an effort to tryout all of their events as well,” she added. 
According to Clashing, the event will present a number of swimmers with a final opportunity to impress the national selection panel ahead of the November OECS championships to be hosted here in Antigua.
“Actually it’s across the spectrum because we have some older swimmers in particular age groups and they have quite a few in that age category and so they are going to be competing strongly to see if they can get on the team. There are some age groups that are relatively thin [in terms of numbers] so those spots are pretty much known and then in the lower age categories we will have the swimmers really vying for positions,” the technical director said.
The official also explained the reasons for relocating the Invitational meet to the Langfords site as opposed to hosting it at the regular location at the Antigua Athletic Club.
“We’re [specifically] going there for this meet because it’s a dry run for our hosting of the OECS Swimming Championships which comes up on the 8th to the 10th of November for the pool event and the 11th for the open water. So, we are all in geared-up motion, we are trying to put the facility in the shape required, that we would need and be able to tweak for the following period for the OECS. So, we are really busy at the moment,” she said.
The Oasis Water Invitational will climax on Sunday. It carries an admission fee of $25 for a weekend pass
while entrants between the ages of five to 12-years-old will pay $5.00 and children under five-years-old will enter for free.

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