Hew among top 50 in the world

Lauren Hew has wrapped up her participation for the Cayman Islands at the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, finishing in the top 50 in both events she competed in.

The 17-year-old’s first event was the women’s 100m backstroke on Monday, 24 July. She finished ninth in heat two with a time of 1:08.38. She did not advance from the heats but was 50th of 59 swimmers in the event.

On Tuesday, 25 July, Hew returned to the pool at the Duna Arena for the 200m freestyle. She was second to the wall in her heat behind Zimbabwe’s Devyn Leask in 2:08.91. That was 41st fastest out of 52 competitors. It was also the second fastest by a swimmer from the Caribbean region behind Arianna Sanna of the Dominican Republic (2:08.45) and ahead of Barbados’ Lani Rose Cabrera (2:11.77) and Antigua & Barbuda’s Bianca Mitchell (2.24.67).

Ahead of the championships, Hew spoke to CaymanSportsBuzz.com about the significance of representing the Cayman Islands at international competitions. “It definitely means a lot. Any chance you are given to represent your country, you should take it and do it with pride and swim as fast as you can,” she said.

“It’s definitely exciting for me to swim for Cayman any time I can, especially now I’m away from school. I’m away for most of the year, so to be home and train to get ready for a competition where I’m representing my country, is always an honour.”


Busy summer

The world championships was Hew’s second international meet representing the Cayman Islands this summer, after the NatWest Island Games in Gotland, Sweden, where she won three medals in the short course (25m) pool.

“Island Games is always an amazing experience and to be somewhere like Gotland was super awesome…it’s definitely one of my favourite meets,” she said. Her haul there included silver in the 200m and 50m freestyle events, as well as a bronze in the 200m backstroke.

Hew also learned recently of being selected as Scholastic All-American for her performances for St Andrews School in Florida. She earned qualifying times in the 50m backstroke, 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle. She then backed that up by getting a GPA higher that 3.5 to solidify the honour.


Star on the rise

Lauren Hew

All her efforts in the pool are part of her quest to fulfil the dream of making it to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Even as she ponders university, that’s being done with an eye on the prize. “I’m definitely looking at schools that can help me prepare for Tokyo,” she said.

Her star continues to rise, having set two Cayman Island Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) and Cayman Islands national records at the FINA World Short Course (25m) Championships in Canada last December – 100m backstroke (1:03.35), 100m freestyle (56.99) and 200m freestyle (2:03.46).

In April, at the CARIFTA Swimming Championships in the Bahamas, Hew topped the podium six times, as she won eight individual medals and three in relays at the 50m pool there. During that meet, she also set a new CARIFTA record in the 100m backstroke (1:05:94) and CIASA and Cayman Islands records in the 200m freestyle (2:05.98). She was also the high points winner for the girls 15-17 age group.


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