Aleka Persaud with coach Sean Baksh

Gabriella Chapman

Fifteen year old Guyanese swimmer, Aleka Persaud was selected by the world governing swimming body, Fédération Internationale De Natation (FINA) to represent her country at the Tokyo Olympics in the coming weeks.

This came as shocking but exciting news to the junior swimmer, since she did not have her eyes on this year’s Olympics, but rather, that of 2022.

In fact, it was previously reported that senior swimmer, Jamila Sanmoogan will be representing Guyana. However, Persaud holds the record of the fastest Guyanese swimmer and FINA’s adjusted rules state that the fastest swimmers must represent their country.

Persaud’s coach, Sean Baksh explained to Loop Caribbean that in previous years, in order to participate in the Olympics, swimmers must compete in the World Championships the year prior.

In 2019, he said, although Persaud recorded a faster time than Sanmoogan at the CARIFTA games, she was too young to compete in the World Championships. Sanmoogan however, who was the senior champion swimmer for Guyana at the CARIFTA games, competed in the World Championships, which got her on the list to compete at the 2020 Olympics.