Although Grenada National Swim Team Coach, Carleton Simon felt revenge was not a motivating factor having losing the past two OECS Swimming Championships to arch rivals St Lucia, one in controversial fashion you would have a tough time believing him.
Over the weekend at the 23rd Annual OECS Swimming Championships held at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre, it was crystal clear the Grenadians had one thing on their mind-Beat Team St Lucia.
Described as one of the best organized meets, the Grenadians overcame a spirited challenge from the St Lucians and Antiguans, to hold onto the trophy for the eleventh time in the history of the Championships.
During an interview with Simon you knew there was bad blood and even some hostility between St Lucia and Grenada. In 2011this rivalry reached a fever pitch, when St Lucia and Grenada were involved in a points controversy. Initially both teams agree to a tie, but in the end after much deliberation St Lucia was declared the winner by a very narrow margin. St Lucia also went on to win the 2012 Championship in Antigua.
During the course of the interview it became clear losing the championship in 2011 was a bitter pill to swallow for this coach. He attempted to set the record straight: Simon said: “We did not lose in 2011 we actually tied so let us get it straight. When St Lucia won it in Antigua by 24 points everyone
was happy for them, we realized where our fault was and went back home and worked on it.”
When asked if winning the 2013 Championship was redemption for the Grenadian team having lost in 2011and 2012 he replied: “I would not say redemption but an uplifting spirit for the kids.”
There were several outstanding performances from a number of swimmers including St Lucia’s Jordan Augier and Ethan Dyke-Elliott. Augier who was unbeatable in the three day meet set three national records, two age group records and finished first in the 18 and over boys age group with 99 points. Elliott established four age group records and racked up 53 points to finish second in the boys 9-10 age group.
The other age group record breakers for St Lucia were Jenna-Lee Campbell (female eight and under 25 breast 20.55); Ziv Reynolds (male eight and under 25 breast 20.97); and Terell Monplaisir (male 9-10 50 breast 39.45).
Like Augier, Grenada’s Oreoluwa Cherebin was unbeatable in the competition scoring 99 points, good enough for first place in the girls 15-17 age group.
Following in order of finish are the final point standings: Grenada National Swim Team 1,404.50; St Lucia National Team 1,343.50; Team Antigua & Barbuda 1,248; St Vincent Swim Team 392; British Virgin Islands 187.
In placing first overall Grenada won the Girls Team Title with 735 points with St Lucia second with 602. The home side did win the Boys Team Title with 741.50 with Grenada second with 669.50.
This 2013 Championships coordinated by Meet Director, Yasmin “Pebbles” Dyke Elliott, was a true festival of swimming and celebration of OECS competition. Errol Clarke from Barbados, the President of CCCAN, served as Meet Referee
The meet was characterized by keen competition, a plethora of officials, coordinated organization and attention to finer details, tremendous sponsors exposure and festive atmosphere which had all rocking to DJ Martin Monplaisir while supporting the swimmers in their efforts for glory in the pool.
At the OECS Congress held Saturday, it was agreed by the representatives of each of the Federations that St Lucia will host the 2014 Championships.