Lauren Hew, Ali Jackson and Alex McCallum, have achieved the Cayman Islands qualifying times for the FINA World Swimming Championships and are training hard in their final preparations for the meet, according to a press release.
The championships are Dec. 6-11 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, where the hockey rink in the multipurpose WFCU Centre is being transformed into a 25-meter pool.
The three Caymanians will join some 900 swimmers, representing 170 national federations. Many of the competitors participated in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
Heading up the Cayman contingent, Bailey Weathers, Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association’s technical director, said, “This is an excellent opportunity for our swimmers to gain international experience against the world’s best and to develop the necessary building blocks to progress to the next stage of their swimming career. We would like to thank the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee and Davenport Development for their continued support of CIASA and our swimmers.”
Lauren Hew, 17, previously competed in world championships in Doha, Qatar, in 2014 and Kazan, Russia in 2015. Hew has also competed in numerous CARIFTA championships and Island Games competitions, and Commonwealth and Junior Commonwealth Games.
Hew’s top three favorite events which she will be competing in are the 100m and 200m backstroke and the 200m freestyle.
“I love my island and take so much pride in representing the country,” she said. “Nothing is more honorable than having the opportunity to represent my home.”
Alex McCallum, who recently completed university and is now working with EY, competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Island Games, as well as many CARIFTA Games. This will be his first world championship. His top three events that he will be competing in are the 50m and 100m backstroke and the 100m freestyle.
“I always feel proud representing Cayman overseas since we are such a small Island, and it’s an honor to show everyone what we’re capable of doing,” he said.
Alison Jackson, 14, has attended many CARIFTA Games and placed in the top eight, and in some cases won many of her races. Jackson’s top three events are the 50m and 100m freestyle and the 100m individual medley.
Jackson is excited about her first world Championships.
“I will be able to see professional swimmers race and be able to race against them, which is something I wouldn’t experience at any other meet I’ve been to before,” she said. “It means a lot for me to be able to travel to a meet outside of the Caribbean and represent Cayman on a global scale.”