The 20th edition of the Goodwill Swim Meet, an annual competition between Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana and St. Lucia took place at Club Oase in Paramaribo, Suriname from August 15-17, 2014. The Goodwill Swim Meet is a developmental meet for swimmers from the participating countries who have not yet competed at higher levels of regional competition.
While goodwill, and promoting the sport of swimming in these developing countries remain the goal, the competition in the pool is especially fierce. Outside the pool, the intensity continues with an atmosphere that switches between a Carnival atmosphere and a soccer rivalry.
After three days of intense action, Trinidad and Tobago emerged victorious. Suriname trailed Trinidad and Tobago’s 1569 points with 1460 points. Barbados occupied third position with 524.5 points, St. Lucia was fourth with 488.5 points while Guyana was fifth with 461 points.
Trinidad and Tobago was able to break Suriname’s seven-year stranglehold on the championship trophy by dominating the 8 and under and 11-12 age groups, while remaining competitive in the others. Trinidad and Tobago’s depth was reflected in their winning 19 of the 28 relays.
Zarek Wilson and Josiah Changar of Trinidad and Tobago were the cream of the 8 and under boys, combining to win all six individual events. Changar set a national record in the 50 meter butterfly of 35.23, while high point winner Wilson lowered his 50 m freestyle and 50 m backstroke records to 31.67 and 37.42 respectively. Zoe Anthony set two girls 8 and under Goodwill records in winning the 100 m freestyle (1:14.47) and 100 m IM (1:24.28).
The Trinidad and Tobago 11-12 girls divided the individual events between them with Keona Yorke dominating butterfly, Danielle Williams backstroke, Jada Chatoor freestyle and Samara Wilson breaststroke.
Swimmers use the Goodwill Swim Meet as a launching pad towards higher levels of competition. Despite the myriad problems that often handicap the development of their swimming programs, participating countries use the meet to provide their swimmers with a taste of regional rivalry.
The 2015 Goodwill Swim Meet is slated to take place in Trinidad and Tobago. The defending champions will face stiff competition as they attempt to retain their status.
Full results here.