By Neto Baptiste
Despite having yet medaled at a major international meet, President of the Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation (ABSF), Dr. Derek Marshall, believes that athletes continue to improve every time they dive into the pool.
Marshall was, at the time, responding to questions regarding the performances of swimmers Stefano Mitchell and Samantha Roberts at the 2020 Olympic Games held in Tokyo, Japan where neither athlete advanced from the first round of their respective categories.
“The situation is that they have no pool to practice and this is the pool that Noah and Samantha readily uses for practice and you go to practice daily. It can’t be that six months before the Tokyo Olympics you’re trying to practice or trying to get ready and then you show up and expect to do fine. It has a mental and a physical impact on you so kudos to the people who made it to the Olympics and yes, they went on a universality acceptance but at the same time, I think that if you compare it to what we have been doing in the past [at major games], I think we have done pretty well,” he said.
Marshall, who was speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show at the time, went on to remind that two of the four swimmers who had been earmarked to compete at this year’s Junior Pan American Games in Noah Mascoll-Gomes and Stefano Mitchell, were outright qualifiers.
“Both Noah and Stefano for the Pam American Games qualified; they are not on universality which is one of the reasons why nobody else can go. The Junior Pan American Games is a first time event but at the same time I could tell you that Stefano is swimming remarkably right now. He is swimming long course meters at 50.98, I believe, or something around there and we have never had any swimmers doing that kind of time. Noah is swimming remarkably in the 400 meters which is just over 40 in long course meters and these are remarkable times and this is what qualified them for B cut in the Pan American Games,” the swimming boss said. The federation has however opted out of attending the Junior Pan American Games slated for November 25 to December 5 in Colombia.