With national athletes around the world seeking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics just months before it begins, the Guyanese swim team found themselves coming up against the crème de la crème from over 60 countries for spots in the international games.
The initial team of three Guyanese swimmers, boosted by a new addition, turned up unsuccessful when they hit the pools in Clermont, Florida over the past weekend, for the 2021 UANA Tokyo Qualifiers.
Unfortunately for the team – comprising Andrew Fowler, Leon Seaton, Jamila Sanmoogan and newcomer Chase Thompson – they were unable to make their mark in a pool of more than 50 competitors per race. The team was accompanied by Coach Paul Mahaica.
However, Leon Seaton’s races were listed under the Azura Florida Aquatics team, with which he has been training for some time now, since acquiring a scholarship stint in that US state.
Competing in the 50M butterfly and freestyle, Sanmoogan was unable to make it past the first stage of both events. The 24-year-old clocked 31.10s and 29.03s in the events respectively, to finish 31st and 46th.
Seaton and Fowler contested the same three events. For the 50M butterfly, Fowler finished on 26.44s while Seaton clocked 28.56s. Seaton tipped Fowler in the 50M freestyle, stopping the clock at 25.38s, while Fowler finished on 25.50s.
In the 100M freestyle, Fowler came in 56th with a time of 55.46s and Seaton 58th in 55.74s. A breakdown of the times saw Fowler swimming a better first half in the 100M freestyle than his second half, 25.97s and 29.49s.
For Seaton, the situation was the same, as the 16-year-old swam a 26.70s first 50 as compared to a 29.04s back half.
Chase Thompson, representing Guyana for the first time on the national stage, also participated in the 100 freestyle, but was unable to make it past the prelims.
He clocked 58.64s in that event. However, he had a better outing in the 100 breast stroke, where he made it past the first round of preliminary races.
Finishing 23rd, the newcomer clocked 1:08.05 in the preliminary, and bettered his time in the final by clocking 1:06.73. In Thompson’s his final races, he returned times of 31.18s and 35.55s, seeing a better first 50 than in the final half.
The Guyanese team still has another shot at the July 23rd to August 8th Olympics, with Puerto Rico-based swimming qualifiers on the cards.