Barbados' top swimmers take the spotlight
An exceptional year in the pool earned Olympians Alex Sobers and Lani Cabrera centre stage at the 2016 Barbados Amateur Swimming Association (BASA) Annual Awards Ceremony held Sunday evening at Raddison Aquatica.
Sobers and Cabrera were the only two Barbadian swimmers to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games and as expected were named Most Outstanding Senior Male and Female Swimmers in the presence of Barbados Olympic Association assistant secretary general, Cameron Burke, Dave Farmer of the BOA and president of BASA, Tony Selby. The Most Outstanding Junior Male and Female Swimmers were McCallum Clarke and Danielle Treasure.
Burke during his brief remarks said that swimming was a sport the BOA relied heavily upon for good performances but noted that while Barbadian swimmers continued to excel at the junior level, it was at the senior level they struggled to make an impact. However, Burke said that the BOA remained committed to providing its usual financial support to the federation.
“The BOA and the NSC [National sports Council] will hopefully shortly be coming together in one committee to address funding for our national federations on special projects. Currently, the NSC’s board is awaiting approval on their submissions of the protocols for this amalgamation to their Ministry. The BOA deems this a step in the right direction, which should redound to greater financial assistance to our national federations,” he said.
Sobers with 798 International Federation of Swimming [FINA] points, broke the 400m freestyle record last year in the Bahamas at the XXI Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships [CISC] which earned him a place on the Barbados team to Rio. The former Christ Church Foundation School student also captured the Victor Norville Memorial Trophy for most outstanding swim in a championship based on the FINA international ranking system.
Cabrera who trains overseas, competed in the 200m freestyle at the Olympics. She amassed 727 FINA points which landed her the senior female title ahead of Hannah Gill, another talented Barbadian swimmer. Cabrera also received the best overall performance by a female at the CISC Championships. At the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships held at Windsor, Canada, there were a few outstanding performances and Caberra emerged best female while the male equivalent went to Christopher Courtis.
In the juniors, Clarke was phenomenal and deservingly took the spotlight for being named Most Valuable Swimmer at the CISC Championships after a remarkable performance having won six medals that included four gold and two silver while establishing three records when he competed in the boys 11-12 age group.
At the XXXI CARIFTA Swimming Championship held in Lamentin, Martinique, Clarke gave a similar performance when he won seven medals with four gold and three bronze while at the same time breaking three records in the 100m and 200m breaststroke events.
Meanwhile at CARIFTA Treasure won gold in the girls 200m breaststroke, silver in the 400m freestyle and 100m backstroke and bronze in the 200m freestyle. At CISC, she captured gold in the 200m backstroke and three bronze in the 100m backstroke, 200m and 400m freestyle.