Cayman is poised to take its place in the starting blocks on a world stage. Four swimmers – veterans Lauren Hew and Brett Fraser and newcomers Jordan Crooks and Raya Embury-Brown – will comprise Cayman’s team at the 18th annual FINA Swimming World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.
Fraser, who made it to the semi-finals of the 100-metre and 200-metre freestyle at the 2012 Olympics, will be trying to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Fraser, 29, also swam in the 2008 Olympics and was a gold medallist in the 200-metres at the 2011 Pan American Games.
Hew recently completed her freshman year at Florida State University and will be swimming in the 50-metre and 100-metre freestyle. She represented Cayman at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and took home 11 medals and first place in the High Points Award at the 2017 CARIFTA Swimming Championships.
Embury-Brown and Jordan Crooks recently played a starring role at the Island Games in Gibraltar.
Crooks brought home a gold in the 100-metre freestyle, a silver in the mixed 50-metre relay and bronze medals in the 100-metre backstroke, 50-metre backstroke and 50-metre freestyle. He will be racing in the 100-metre and 200-metre freestyle. Embury-Brown earned silver medals in the 800 and 1500-metre freestyle at the Island Games, and she will be racing in the 800 and 400-metre freestyle in South Korea.
All four swimmers will compete as part of Cayman’s 100-metre mixed freestyle relay team.
The FINA Swimming World Championships began on 12 July and will continue through July 28, but the swimming portion of the competition will not start until Sunday. The diving, water polo, open water and artistic swimming competitions have already begun, but Cayman is not represented in those events.
Bailey Weathers, technical director of the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association, will lead the team, and he will be assisted by manager Sandy Hew. Cayman will be among 194 countries competing at the World Championships, and there will be more than 2,500 competitors vying for gold.