Thu | Sep 19, 2019

Alvaranga not Jamaica's only promise – ASAJ president

Published:Monday | April 29, 2019 | 12:26 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Martin Lyn

Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) president Martin Lyn says that youngster Zaneta Alvaranga is not the only promise Jamaica has in swimming.

Alvaranga impressed at the just-concluded Carifta Swim Championships in Barbados last week, adding to the acclaim she has received for performances at previous meets in recent years.

Lyn also believes that of all the promising young swimmers coming through in recent times, Emily McDonald, would be his choice to continue in the footsteps of Alia Atkinson. At the recent Carifta Swim Championships, Alvaranga and teammate Sabrina Lyn were outstanding in the 13-15 age group, with Lyn capturing four gold and one silver, while Alvaranga claimed three gold and two silver medals. But Lyn thought that Alvaranga, who broke the 50m butterfly record she established last year, overshadowed the outstanding performances of others who did just as well or even better.

“Britney Williams and Emily McDonald come to mind. They were before Alvaranga,” Lyn said. “Sabrina Lyn was before Alvaranga, so she (Alvaranga) is not as good. Maybe it’s because of the publicity,” he said.

“But the reality is that we have much better and much faster swimmers than Alvaranga. I am not saying that she is not good, but now she has swimmers who have beaten her. Sabrina Lyn beat her over and over, so the reality is that she must prove to us that she is as good as a Sabrina Lyn. It’s the same age group, but Sabrina Lyn is fast.”

Sabrina Lyn beat Alvaranga into second place in the 50m breaststroke and the 100m butterfly at Carifta, while Alvaranga overcame Lyn for the 50m butterfly, where she also set a new mark for that event.

But although these two have shown a lot of early promise, it’s their more senior compatriot in the 15-17 age category, Emily McDonald, who the ASAJ president says is the best bet of making it to the next level.

“Emily McDonald is my choice. She is fast, she is focused, and she has already gone to the junior Olympics with an A time. So she is the next one on my radar, at 15 years old,” he said.

At the recent Carifta Championships, McDonald won one gold, two silver, and a bronze medal.

Lyn expects the island’s young swimmers’ to improve throughout the year.

“It signifies that the talent is here and that we are a force to be reckoned with in aquatics in the region,” he said. “We hope to expand on that and go international because a lot of these swimmers qualified for the Pan Am Games and World Championships later on, so we will wait and see what we have for the big meets later on.”