Kaizen swimmers joyous after 13-medal haul at Dom Rep swim champsWednesday, December 01, 2021
BY SHERDON COWAN
A sense of pride and accomplishment now fills Kaizen Swim Club as their young swimmers positively impacted the just-concluded 38th Delfines Del Naco Invitational, copping 13 medals in the Dominican Republic.
Still, as the trio of Kito Campbell, Zaneta Alvaranga and Kaheem Lozer returned home on Monday with their haul of eight gold, two silver and three bronze, the general consensus is that there remains scope for improvements.
In fact, Head Coach Rory Alvaranga, while lauding the swimmers for their gallant display, identified a few chinks in their respective performances which he highlighted and intends to address at subsequent training sessions.
“The results were mixed bag, there are a lot of positives which we will enjoy but there are also areas that we will definitely work on.
“One of the main takeaways for me is the level of maturity that the swimmers displayed being able to perform without a coach present. I think that was tremendous however, I think my presence there would have brought some relaxation and better results,” said Alvaranga, who was unable to make the trip for reasons beyond his control.
“But we will just work on their mental game and fine-tune their techniques because Campbell had a few blown starts but his comeback was pretty good. So we just have to sharpen certain aspects of our swimming game, a part from our surface swimming, our start reaction and underwater and we will definitely see continuous improvements,” the man, who formed the club in 2018, told the Jamaica Observer.
Andrea Lozer, a long time team manager for the three-year-old club, accompanied the trio in his absence.
The swimmers, who were among the over 400 athletes that graced the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Centre in Santa Domingo, for the four-day meet, also viewed the performances as a decent platform on which they can build for the remainder of this season ahead of next year.
For Zaneta Alvaranga in particular, who was on her first overseas assignment since last year, it was good taste of stiff competition against athletes from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and United States.
The 16-year-old won her four gold medals in the 50m breaststroke, 50m and 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly, with a silver and a bronze in the 50m and 100m backstroke.
“It was good to be back in competition, especially against the Central American athletes and as always it was also a good learning experience,” the young Alvaranga said.
“I got some good performances and some not so good performances, I did improve a few times which means I'm in better form than I thought so now I am motivated to train even harder to again improve my times,” she told the Observer.
Campbell, who recently started training for the 200m breaststroke, topped that event in a new personal best time 2:32.0, to go with his two other gold medals from the 50m and 100m breaststroke, and bronze in the 50m butterfly.
“I think I performed well across the four days, but obviously there is room for improvement because there are always things that can be and should be worked on.
“I think I have had better meets than this one because I wasn't race sharp, but I think it was good nonetheless and now it's just to go back to training and work on what needs to be fixed,” the 18-year-old Calabar stalwart noted.
Meanwhile, Lozer believes his performances sets him up nicely for upcoming meets.
He won gold and silver in the 50m and 100m butterfly, complemented by a bronze in the 50m freestyle.
“It was a very nice meet, the pool felt really fast but because I wasn't up to par like I was at CCCAN, I didn't perform better, but I'm pleased with how things went giving the circumstances,” Lozer said.
“This puts me in a position to see where I need to be and what I need to do in training to achieve better performances going forward. So coach and I will work on that,” he added.
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