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Olympian ranks Aquatic Centre world class
« on: January 06, 2017, 06:12:38 AM »
Olympian ranks Aquatic Centre world class
JELANI BECKLES (Newsday).


RIO 2016 bronze medallist Katerine Savard has ranked the National Aquatic Centre in Couva as one of the top swimming facilities in the world.

Savard is in Trinidad and Tobago for a two-week training camp with Canadian swim team Club Aquatique Montreal (CAMO). Savard is a two-time Olympian (2012, 2016), who won bronze with Canada in the women’s 4x200-metre freestyle relay at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

After completing a training session at the National Aquatic Centre yesterday, Savard said she was impressed by the facility.

Savard stated, “It’s been amazing, actually it’s one of my best training camps ever. I have been all around the world and I can say it is one of the best training venues I have seen.

The fact that there are two pools that we can swim outside and inside, so this is really amazing and everyone is taking care of us so this is really great.” Savard said her main aim is the World Championships in 2017. “We have the trial for the World Championships in April so this is going to be my main focus.

Of course my goal is to make the team and if I could make the team (see) what I can do in Budapest this summer.” CAMO head coach Claude St Jean also praised the facility saying, “It is one of the top three in the world that I have been too for outdoor pools, it is great.

At first when I said I want to go to Trinidad I just saw pictures on the internet and sometimes with pictures you are like maybe they are fake, but when I came here I was like this is great.” Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith was excited that a foreign team is in TT to utilise the venue. Smith stated, “This (training camp) is part of the whole plan. It is not just about the building, the building has to maintain itself and (we must) bring it to life with people. This is the first time in our history that we have brought down a top class team like this from North America to utilise these world class facilities.” Smith explained that this could be the start of a sport tourism drive.

“This is the first of many, it is the beginning of (the) 2017 calendar year and we anticipate and expect that we will have many more throughout the year not just for swimming but for cycling as well.” The brand new National Cycling Velodrome is located next to the National Aquatic Centre.

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