The males of District 11 (North Georgetown) amassed 230 while the females contributed
199 for a grand total of 429 points that earned them the top honours when the 2014 Ministry of Education and Guyana Teachers’ Union National Schools’ Swimming Championships concluded at the National Aquatic Center, Lilliendaal ECD yesterday afternoon.
Upper Demerara/Kwakwani registered a total of 226 to finish in the second place slot while Rupununi closed off the podium spots after scoring 145 points. Accalia Khan’s contribution to the winning efforts of District 11 stood out from the time she plunged into the pool to contest the Girls Under-16, 50m freestyle event. She completed the distance in 31:84secs and before the day was done, had registered victories in the 50m backstroke and the 100m freestyle race.
She then returned later in the evening to lend support in the Girls Open 200m freestyle relay to cap an impressive day’s performance with 4 gold medals.
Amy Grant’s contribution to the winning efforts of District 11 was also noteworthy and she started the day competing in the Girls Under-14, 50m freestyle event, known as the Blue Ribbon Stakes of swimming. Employing deft strokes, she out-swam Leona Gonsalves and Kenita Mahaica to clock a time of 32:40secs before returning later on to dominate the 50m butterfly event in 34:80secs while relegating Kenita Mahaica and Recia Joris to second and third places respectively.
Mahaica avenged that loss when the two clashed again in the 50m backstroke, finishing the race in
38:15secs, just in front of Grant at 39:05secs. Leona Gonsalves swam in third, in 41:19secs and secured the final podium spot.
However, Grant was not yet done and returned with Tiffany De Moura, Kristen Odle, and Acclia Khan to register a decisive victory in the Girls open 200m freestyle relay and close off a successful day with 3 gold and 1 silver medal.
The swimmers competed using the width of the pool which spanned some 25m as against the length which doubled that distance. Several residents out of the rural communities also turned in good performances but it was noted that many of them lacked the technical expertise required for a smooth, well coordinated turn around, thus losing valuable timings.
Notable among these performances were Richard DeNieuenkirk from the Upper Demerara/Kwakwan area. He won the Boys open 100m backstroke in 1:32:17secs, Fileisha Williams (Upper Demerara/Kwakwani), also defied the odds and swam to victory in the Girls Under-18 one hundred meters backstroke in 1:42:75sec while Kesia Klass travelled all the way from North West district to capture the honours in the girls Open 50m freestyle in 43:14secs.
Meanwhile, when activities got underway in the morning, President of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association, Ivan Persaud, delivered brief remarks where he encouraged the participants to give of their best. He also complimented the efforts of the Ministry of Education in the shrewd organization of the event even as he beseeched those officials to continue in the same vein to organize similar events to facilitate the continued development of the swimmers.
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