Jamaican opens eyes in virtual artistic swimming competition

By Melissa Talbert July 27, 2020

Cailyn Morgan did enough to get Jamaica noticed during an artistic swimming tournament over the weekend.

Morgan represented Jamaica as competitor #5 in Uana’s Artistic Swimming Virtual Challenge for ages 12 and under that aired live on Facebook: @uanaaquatics and YouTube: Panam Aquatics TV.

The virtual competition started off rocky; competitor #2 competed before competitor #1. Athletes were told to make their numbers visible so it could be easier to find the specific athlete who’s supposed to be competing at the moment.

As instructed, Cailyn had the number 5 placed in front of her camera by the time it was her turn to perform. With shoulders back and arms stretched to the side, she began performing the required exercises that ultimately tested for strength and flexibility— qualities they would normally use in the water.

The Jamaica synchronized team was clearly impressed with Cailyn’s performance and extended support by saying, “Big up Cailyn Morgan for her exceptional effort today…”

All athletes performed the same exercises, with one of the competition’s hosts saying, “these exercises can be performed as warm-ups before we hop into the pool and execute a routine.”

The first exercise was ‘the standing ballet leg’. This signature move is performed in the water horizontally, and not vertically like what was being done virtually. Either way, athletes displayed a great deal of control and power.

The second exercise promotes body awareness as athletes strive for that perfect vertical line while lifting the leg and maintaining body stability at the same time.

The final exercise was described as ”the aerial rotation on the head.” As the name suggests, athletes were expected to hold a split while rotating in an upside down position— very similar to what happens in the water.

Then to finish off, the girls had to do push-ups on the fatigued arms from previous exercises.

Though at times the connection was blotchy and the parameters within an athlete’s room made it difficult for magnificently extended legs, it was reassured that, “judges have a trained eye and know exactly what they're looking for.”

In the end, the judges decided that it was Russia— 1st, USA— 2nd and Mexico— 3rd.

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