x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Big stage butterflies get the better of Hamilton Aquatics' expat trio

The girls from the Dubai-based academy posted respectable, if not personal-best, times in yesterday's morning session.

DUBAI // Ash Morris, the head coach of Hamilton Aquatics, expressed satisfaction after three girls from the Dubai-based academy posted respectable, if not personal-best, times in yesterday's morning session.

Typically as products of expatriate Dubai, the trio representing the club provide a cosmopolitan spread. For each of them, this week's competition represents a chance to sample high-profile competition as they plan toward distant goals.

Lianna Swan, who is targeting next year's Commonwealth Games in Scotland as a competitor for Pakistan, went in the 100m freestyle.

Her time of 1 minute, 4.26 seconds was around a second and a half faster than club colleague Mina Roubki, who is representing Syria.

The time of 9:34.16 in the 800m freestyle registered by the youngest of the Dubai expatriate contingent, Latvia's Krista Ceplite, may have been some way off troubling the leaders.

However, it was a commendable performance for a swimmer who, at 14, is three years younger than the eldest performers here, and whose training is specifically tapered to peak for next year's Youth Olympics, anyway.

"They were all a little way off their best times but that was as expected," said Morris, who was back at his day job with Hamilton yesterday evening having spent the morning as part of Latvia's coaching team.

"Their times were all respectable and I am happy with how they did."

Morris is also pleased with the manner in which his charges have acquitted themselves on what is the biggest stage each has performed on to date.

"They were all really mature, they set reasonable goals knowing they have had three weeks off," the coach said.

"We were focusing on technical goals, on things like turns for example. I was pleased as they did not set their expectations too high."

pradley@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE