[UPDATED] Carifta Aquatic Champs postponed

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THE 2020 Carifta Aquatic Sports Championship has been postponed because of the novel coronavirus, covid19.

The championship was scheduled to be held from April 3 to 15 at the Aquatic Centre in Wildey, Barbados.

On Saturday, a press release sent by president of the Barbados Aquatic Sports Association (BASA) Tony Selby said, “This decision has been taken in the best interest of and to safeguard the health and well-being of the athletes, officials and supporters and in consideration of the recent and ongoing developments within some participating countries as it relates to covid19 and the resulting withdrawal of several of the countries in the region.”

Swimming, open water swimming and water polo athletes were looking forward to the event.

The Amateur Swimming Association of TT (ASATT) made the decision on Thursday to not send their athletes to the meet. The decision to postpone the aquatic championships comes one day after the Carifta Track and Field Championships, set for Bermuda from April 11 to 13, was postponed.

BASA said it knew the athletes were anticipating the meet. “We regret the inconvenience and disappointment this decision may have on the athletes who would have been rigorously training for these championships, particularly those athletes who may have been using these championships to achieve qualification times for the Olympics.”

BASA said it understands that all the swimming associations in the Caribbean are eager to see their athletes compete at a later date.

Ronald Joseph, father of TT swimmer Aqeel Joseph, said his son was ready to compete but said people must learn to adjust when situations arise.

“He (Aqeel) is disappointed, in fact he got the message before me (that it was postponed), because he trained and he looked forward to this one as this is his last Carifta, so he was all up mentally and physically prepared for it but disappointments do happen…this is the situation, we have to just go with the flow and live our lives in accordance to what is presented. We have to play the card we are dealt with, it is simple.”

Ronald said precautionary measures must be put in place. “His mother and I spoke to him and said, ‘God is the boss, prevention is better than cure because it have no replacement with you.'” Aqeel was scheduled to compete in the boys 15-17 category.

Mark Rivas, the father of swimmers Giovanni and Christiano Rivas, speaking to Newsday before the announcement was made to postpone Carifta, said he agreed with the decision by ASATT to pull the TT team from the meet. “As a parent I am deeply concerned about not only the well-being of my sons, but of all athletes regardless of if they are swimmers or not.”

Mark said his sons are aware of the situation, but he has explained to them the seriousness of coronavirus. “My elder son is in form two and my younger son is scheduled to write SEA in three weeks time so they are aware of the situation and we have reiterated the magnitude of the problem.”

Mark said Giovanni and Christiano, who both compete in the boys 11-12 age group, are taking the situation in stride.

“I don’t believe they are disappointed. I know my wife is probably relieved that our younger son does not have to split his time between studies and national training. This just gives us more time to fine tune for the next meet.”

The Rivas brothers know there will be more opportunities in the future. Mark said, “My older son Giovanni has been representing TT at the national level consecutively since 2015, so he is aware there will be other meets.

“Likewise my younger son Christiano has been on two national teams (and) this would have been his third national representation.”

This story has been updated with additional details.
Below is the original story.

THE 2020 Carifta Aquatic Sports Championship has been postponed because of the novel coronavirus (covid19).

The Championship was scheduled to be held from April 3 to 15 at the Aquatic Centre in Wildey, Barbados.

A press release sent by the president of the Barbados Aquatic Sports Association Tony Selby said, “This decision has been taken in the best interest of and to safeguard the health and well-being of the athletes, officials and supporters, and in consideration of the recent and ongoing developments within some participating countries as it relates to covid19 and the resulting withdrawal of several of the countries in the region.”

Swimming, open water swimming and water polo athletes were looking forward to the event.

The Amateur Swimming Association of TT made the decision on Thursday to not send their athletes to the meet. The decision to postpone the Carifta Aquatic Championships comes one day after the Carifta Track and Field Championships, set for Bermuda from April 11 to 13, was postponed.

The post [UPDATED] Carifta Aquatic Champs postponed appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

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