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Swimmers take off
Paul-Andre Walker, Staff Reporter
JAMAICA'S 18-AND-UNDER water polo team leaves the island today to defend their CARIFTA Swimming Championships title in Cura?ao.
The 13-man water polo squad is part of a 47-member contingent.
The water polo team will comprise Daniel Arscott, Marlon McIntyre, Nicholas Vaughan, Christopher Sloley, Jordan Chong, Peyton Bhoorasingh, Robert Hamilton, Gawayne Ross, Troy Palomino, Dwayne Campbell, Justin Taylor, Adrian Fisher, and Zawdie Coke.
The competition begins tomorrow and ends on Sunday, with the Jamaicans slated to return to the Island on April 5.
Jamaica's competition will come in the form of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, The Bahamas and hosts Cura?ao.
A contingent of 30 swimmers and four synchronised swimmers are also travelling to the championships.
The Jamaican swimmers were fourth in last year's competition while the synchronised swimming competition was started by Jamaica when they hosted the tournament in 2003.
This year, however, Jamaica's Synchronised swimming coach, Catherine Lim Sang thinks they will have a problem competing because of the size of their team.
"This is the smallest team that we have ever carried to a competition so the girls will have to stand on their individual performances. It will be a situation where quality has to replace quantity," said Lim Sang.
Water polo coach Laszlo Borbely was a little more enthused, saying his team "should at least medal".
"We're looking for good participation, we should at least medal. They've only been training for four months but they have played in two big internationals in that time so they have some experience," said a hopeful Borbely.
"They won't play their best just yet because we have more than a year to get this team to its goals," he added.
President of the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ), John Eyre, thinks the absence of Alia Atkinson will hurt them.
"Alia was a big part of our fourth place finish last year and her absence might make it difficult to win the competition. But I still expect us to do well," said Eyre.
Atkinson has been ruled out of the team due to school committments overseas.