July 23, 2014

CARIFTA swim champ anticipates more success this year

By Kiev Chesney

Jessica Stephenson in action

After recovering from a career-threatening injury to capture three medals at CARIFTA, and consistently bettering her personal records at the CAC and Commonwealth Games, Guyana’s prodigious swimmer Jessica Stephenson anticipates even more success in 2011.

Jessica, Guyana’s first and only swimmer to medal at the prestigious regional swimming competition, CARIFTA Games, has already set her sights on more unprecedented success this year. So far, Jessica is eyeing the feat of defending her CARIFTA titles and making her debut at the Commonwealth Youth Games, the Pan American Games, and South American Swimming Confederation (CONSANAT) – all in 2011.

“I have already made qualification times to attend CONSANAT, CARIFTA and Junior Commonwealth, [and] my goal would be to attend all three of these prestigious events representing Guyana,” Jessica said.

The phenomenally talented 16- year-old added: “Ideally, I would like to win more medals at CARIFTA, and my goal would be to make the semi- finals at ‘Consanat’ and Junior Commonwealth. I have made the Consideration Time for the Pan Am Games and am endeavouring to improve my times to make the higher A or B times for that, and also to make the cut for Junior World Championships.” The only swimmer that Guyana has sent to the World Swimming Championship got there with the help of Wildcard, unqualified spots.

Competing at those prestigious competitions last year not only gave Jessica the competitive experience, but motivated her to up her game, so that she would ultimately be at that world class level.

The current member of Marlins International Swim Club in Trinidad and Tobago added:

“This allowed me to swim with world champions, world record holders… it was a fabulous experience talking and spending time with them.” Already with three CARIFTA gold medals (two in 2010 and one in 2008) and experience from swimming among the world’s best swimmers, Jessica is certainly poised to do so.

The former member of the local Dorada Swim Club understands that accomplishing her aspirations will require discipline and determination in her training regimen.

Consequently, Jessica resolves “to continue to work even harder” under the guidance of T& T coach Franz Huggins.

With those plans and that regimen commingled with her determination and talent, it appears that Jessica may be featured consistently not only on the back page of Guyana Times International Sport, but on newspapers and websites throughout the region and around the world.