26/06/2018 – The Trinidad Guardian. / Florida-based Gabriela Donahue and Mc Leod brothers, Abraham and David, will not be among the T&T contingent of swimmers when they begin of the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Championship title in Aruba on June 29.
This was confirmed by Jason Wickham, the outgoing Public Relations Officer of the Amateur Swimming Association of T&T (ASATT), when contacted via telephone to give an update on the final composition of the team, which when first selected in early May stood at 34 athletes.
Last year, Donahue won five gold medals and was named as the Most Outstanding 13-14 Girls swimmer in helping T&T to a fourth-place finish at the Bahamas-held Carifta Swimming Championship.
The older of the Mc Leod brothers, Abraham, was part of the triumphant T&T CCCAN team on home soil last year, but along with his younger sibling will not make the journey to compete at the Rolly Bisslik Olympic Pool this time around.
Instead, the experienced duo of Cherelle Thompson and Kael Yorke, two individual gold medal winners from last year’s will lead this country’s bid for a second straight overall title when competition splashes off on June 29 until July 3.
Last year, T&T as host claimed a historic first ever overall title at the National Aquatic Centre, in Balmain, Couva, holding off the challenge of Puerto Rico.
The win by T&T marked the first time an English-speaking country had ever topped the overall points table and it came via the all-around effort of the 64-member swimming team as well as the Open Water members, four water polo teams, the two divers and the synchronised swimmers.
Overall, T&T swimmers without the injured USA-based Dylan Carter, who missed the final two nights of competition, tallied 65 medals (21 gold, 26 silver and 18 bronze) for 938.5 swimming points and 1 2,595 combined from the five disciplines and top spot overall.
Puerto Rico topped the swimming points table with 987 and also won the most medals in the swimming competition, 74 (32 gold, 19 silver and 23 bronze), but was second overall with 1, 217 points.
The CCCAN Open Water Championships will also take place in Aruba, but from July 4 to July 6 at Mangel Halto.
Last Friday, T&T‘s involvement in Aruba was confirmed when ASATT was on the receiving end of $280,000 in financial support from the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.
The local swimming body also got support from the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) to the tune of $55,000 and $2,000 from TECU Cooperative Society.
Overall, more than 25 countries are expected to compete in Aruba with action beginning today (June 26) with the Artistic Swimming until Thursday.
T&T CCCAN swimming team 11-12: Boys: Josiah Changar, Nikoli Blackman, Stachys Harley, Zarek Wilson Girls:Caitlyn Look Fong, Gabrielle Vickles, Joy Blackett, Neishelah Caseman, Savavannah Chee-Wah, Zoe Anthony 13-14: Boys: Kadon Williams, Malik Nelson Girls: Adrianna Gooding, Brianna Bocage, De Nicha Lewis 15-17: Boys: Aqeel Joseph, Graham Chatoor, Jeron Thompson, Josiah Parag, Kael Yorke, Obadyah Ince Girls: Danielle Williams, Deshor Edwards, Ileana Bocage, Jada Chatoor, Jahmia Harley, Racine Ross 18 & Over: Boys: Christian Awah, Josiah Morales Girls: Cherelle Thompson Open water teams: 3 Kilometres: 12-13: Girls: Zoe Anthony, Savannah Chee Wah, Gabrielle Vickles Boys: Nikoli Blackman, Zackary Pichery, Lucius Harrison 5 Kilometres: 14-17: Girls: Jada Chatoor, Chisara Santana, Dominique Nurse-Allen Boys: Kyle West, Gabriel Bynoe, Jared De Silva 18 & Over: Girls: Shania David Boys: Graham Chatoor, Josiah Parag 10 Kilometres: 14-17: Girls: Chisara Santana, Sabrina David Boys: Gabriel Bynoe, William Reyes, Sebastian Marchand 18 & Over: Girls: Shania David Technical staff: Neal Marcano (manager), Maurice Faria (coach), Chabeth Haynes (assistant coach), Dexter Browne (assistant coach), Derek Changar (chaperone).