Grenada’s Nye Cruickshank successfully completed her classification at the Inaugural Lewisville World Series Swimming Championship in Texas and is now among 116 swimmers contesting the three-day event which started Thursday (April 15). She will race in the backstroke, freestyle, breaststroke and individual medley.
The event will also be a historic one for Grenada, which makes its international Para-swimming debut. Nye will be the first athlete from the Caribbean island to compete in the sport on the world’s stage.
Before travelling to the USA, the swimmer and coach Natilie Regis said “it’s a new experience but they are ready for the challenge”.
The young lady’s goal is to achieve the qualifying standard to participate in the 2021 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan in August and September.
Barbados and Paraguay are the other two nations making their World Series debut. Barbadian swimmer Antwahn Boyce-Vaughan is set to compete in three races while Paraguayan Rodrigo Hermosa, who competed at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games, will be in action in the men’s 50m freestyle S9
Afghan-born Mohammad Abas Karimi will also compete as part of his bid to get into the Refugee Para Athletes Team for Tokyo.
He made history at the 2017 World Championships in Mexico City when he became the first refugee to win a medal at a major Para swimming event – he won silver in the men’s 50m butterfly S5. In 2018 the swimmer also won gold at the World Series in Indianapolis.
Around 116 athletes representing 20 nations and teams will participate in the Championship at LISD Westside Aquatic Centre.
The American team will be led by 13-time Paralympic champion Jessica Long and three-time Paralympic champion McKenzie Coan, as well as Paralympic and world champion Rebecca Meyers and world champion Lawrence Sapp.
For many athletes it will be their first international competition for more than a year. They were due to take part in the World Series in Indianapolis, USA, last year, before it was cancelled following the outbreak of COVID-19.
Protocols will be in place at the centre, which hosts the World Series for the first time, and there will be no spectators.