By Neto Baptiste
Number one world ranked swimmer in the short course 50-meter breaststroke Jadon Wuilliez and Carifta medallist Olivia Fuller are set to lead a 14-member Antigua and Barbuda team to next month’s Carifta Swimming Championships in Barbados.
Wuilliez, who is currently studying and swimming in the United Kingdom, achieved the world ranking in November last year after swimming a brilliant 28.49 in the 50-meter breaststroke at the South West Region Winter Short Course Championships at Millfield in the United Kingdom.
He will compete in the 15-17 boys’ age group competition alongside Diallo Marshall and Alex Bento.
Fuller, who won bronze in 2016, is set to compete in the 15-17 girls’ category and is joined by Arianna John.
Vice President of pool-based swimming, Darren Derrick said the team has been in preparation for some time now.
“Our team was selected last week and so they are in practice and preparation for Carifta and of course, all of these meets are now subject to coronavirus alerts but they have been assembled and they practice as a team on the weekends as well as doing their normal practice with their clubs so we are well in advance in terms of our preparations,” he said.
Benjamin, Davien Barton and Ethan Stubbs-Greene will contest the 11-12 boys’ division while Hailey Derrick and Angelique Gittens will contest the 13-14 girls’ competition. Tony Goodwin, who rounds off the selections, is the country’s lone competitor in the 13-14 boys’ division.
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation Dr Derek Marshall said their biggest hurdle is footing the bill for April 11 to 14 championships, which he believes will have to be shouldered by the parents of the travelling athletes.
“The federation has submitted [our] budget as asked by the Ministry of Sports and also the NOC. We submitted those budgets for the games we intend to participate in this year and we are still waiting to hear from the necessary parties as to what they can and cannot give. Nevertheless, until that situation is resolved or progresses we have to lean on the parents at this time,” the swimming boss said. The championships will be held at the Barbados Aquatic Center in Bridgetown.