Press Release:-Amidst the superb talent on display by hundreds of swimmers from 26 countries at the recent XXXII Carifta Swimming Championship held in the Bahamas from April 15-19, 2017, Lightning Aquatics (LA) Swim Club’s Naima Hazell gave an excellent performance at her first Carifta meet.
Naima formed part of a contingent of 7 Saint Lucian swimmers participating in the swimming championship.
Of the 6 races swam this warrior in the water achieved personal best times in 3 events, in other words she improved her time. Naima, made Saint Lucia and her team, LA Swim Club even more proud when she battled through the 50 meter breaststroke which resulted in her copping the bronze medal (entry time: 37.88 and final time 36.56).
This is what Naima had to say about her Carifta experience and we hope her story will inspire young athletes irrespective of their sporting discipline to strive for excellence at all times:
Question: How do you feel about your performance at Carifta?
Naima: “For my first year at Carifta in the 11-12 age group, I think that I performed beyond my own expectations and that of my coaches. I gained Personal Best times and 1 bronze medal. I am happy with my performance”.
Question: What are your aspirations for swimming say 4 years from now?
Naima: “My aspiration 4 years from now is to hopefully be the first 15 year old Saint Lucian to
qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics for Breaststroke.
Question: Is there anything you would have done differently in any of your races?
Naima: “What I would do over – I would not do the 50 freestyle race just before the 100 breaststroke. This killed my performance in the 100 breaststroke and I was unable to qualify for finals as I was drained. I put everything into the 50 free as it is a very fast race and when it came to swim my 100 breaststroke which is my best event I had no energy left. This was my greatest disappointed as I was really looking forward to making it to the finals because I am positive I would have medaled again”.
Naima went on to say that, “Overall it was a great experience. I swam against the best swimmers from 26 different counties and achieved 3 Personal best times and made it to the podium, this is a great accomplishment. I hope that many of my friends from my club and others will aspire to make it to CARIFTA 2018 in Jamaica as it is a very high level meet”.
According to LA’s Club President, Tessa Charles-Louis, “We are extremely proud of Naima because the competition at Carifta was very tough. For her to have made the finals and medal there is an amazing feat for a small island like Saint Lucia where swimmers only have a 25 meter pool at their disposal compared to countries like Bahamas, Jamaica and Trinidad to name a few”.
Saint Lucia came 14th out of 19 teams. LA congratulates the entire Saint Lucia Carifta team which comprised of Naima Hazell, Mikaili Charlemagne, Katie Kyle, Terrel Monplaisir, Jayhan Odlum-Smith, Jamarr Archibald, and Jyasi Daniel.
Special mention must be made of Katie Kyle of Sharks who got a silver in the 100 fly and a bronze in the 50 fly and Terrel Monplaisir of Sea Jays Swim Club who copped the silver in the 200 meter backstroke.