Trinidad and Tobago Water Polo teams, dominant in the Caribbean, skipped participation in the current Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships in Barbados, opted to compete at the Sunshine State Games Water Polo Championships in Coral Springs, Florida this past weekend and they were in star-role mode.
TT’s 16 and Under, 18 and Under and Open Men teams stepped on to the medal winners podium 3 times as each team earned medals.
The 16 and Under team earned the silver medal, upstaged by Colombian team Club Belen who defeated them 6-5 in their lone loss in the pre-final round and by 7 goals to 3 in the final.
TT team coach Alan Too a Foo explained that this team would most likely be T&T’s representative at the Pan Am Youth Tournament next year and their performance was heart-warming.
Jafar Howe, Liam Howell, Liam Smith, Kyle Simmons, Kryztien Sharpe, Leon Daniel, Joseph Herrera, Adam Nimblett, Rhajeev Ramdeen, Dylan Boos, Jamali Lewis and Massimiliano Di Cola comprised the team.
TT’s 18 and Under team who will be participating in the Pan Am Juniors tournament in California were on fire winning every game and the final against Riptides 13-12.
In an exciting final, T&T warded off a late charge by Riptides, scoring with three seconds left on the clock to tick off the win.
This team which is unbeaten in ten games this year and which is aiming to qualify for the world junior championships comprised Sebastian van Reeken, Jonathan Gillette, Joseph Herrera, Leon Daniel, Justin Bhola, Kieron Emmanuel, , Kyle Ferreira, Adrian Hinds, Justin Bodden and Kryztien Sharpe.
The open men lost their semi final against eventual champs Tolima of Colombia 8 goals to five to set up a bronze medal game with hosts South Florida.
This game was another thriller, ending 6-all in regulation time and in the penalty showdown, Trinidad and Tobago prevailed 4-3.
Coach Andrew Francis noted that his team which will represent TT at the CAC Games later this year always took things one game at a time and that they learnt from every game.
The team –Andrew Too a Foo, Michael Deane, Daniel Alvarez, Kris Thomas, Russell Ferreira, Alec Chin Lee, Kristian Bocage, Johann Callender, Daniel Abraham and Ryan West.
In an item of swimming also in the United States, TT’s Dylan Carter set new national records for the boys 15 to 17 400 metres when representing his University of South California at the TYR Fran Crippen Memorial Meet in Mission Viejo, California last weekend.
Carter went 4:02.14 in the heats and went on to clock a 3:58.82 in the B finals of the event, breaking previous national bests of 4:04.53 by Sebastien Paddington and 4:05.59 (his own).
The times have been submitted to the Amatuer Swimming Association of T&T for ratification.