Swimmers ready to make a splash

L-R: John Bodden, Sarah Jackson, Jonathan Key.

The trio of swimmers representing the Cayman Islands at the Commonwealth Youth Games is eager to compete against athletes from larger countries at the 18-23 competition. Diving into the pool at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Swim Complex are John Bodden, Jonathan Key and Sarah Jackson.

Bodden will swim the Men’s 50m butterfly, 1500m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 100m butterfly, and 200m butterfly over four days of competition. Key will compete in the Men’s 200m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle. Jackson is scheduled to swim the women’s 50m butterfly, 50m backstroke, 50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke and 50m freestyle.

“I feel that, as a group, we are more prepared than for other competitions this season. We’ve focused on being more race-specific and we are more aerobically fit than where we were at other competitions. I think that’s really good for all of us,” Bodden told CaymanSportsBuzz.com ahead of the Games.

Key is at his second international event in less than a month, after competing at the NatWest Island Games in Gotland, Sweden a few weeks ago. “Just using my Island Games races as more of an experience and now just fine-tuning the little details as well, I’ll know what to do using my past experiences as well,” he said.

This time, he knows the platform is bigger, especially with global swimming powerhouses among those countries with athletes in Bahamas.

“It’s swimming against bigger countries as well. It’s not just little islands – it will be Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, Wales, England,” he said, looking forward to the challenge.

Jackson, too, expressed excitement about facing competition from bigger countries. “It’s more motivating than intimidating because swimming with them will push us a lot harder,” she said in an interview at Lions Pool.

So, what are their goals? “All of us want to come back in finals and swim. So, I think that as a group thing is what we are looking for,” Bodden said before Jackson quickly added: “I’m not going to lie, that podium would be lovely.”

Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association technical director Bailey Weathers is accompanying the athletes.

“What’s exciting about this is that it’s perfect timing for the Cayman Islands. All three of these guys have spent a lot of years building up to this point and it’s really a unique opportunity for us, as a country, to see them compete at the pinnacle for this age group. We’re excited about it,” he said.

CaymanSportsBuzz.com will have regular updates throughout the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games.

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