Swimming, Basketball Begin for USVI Athletes at Pan American Games in Lima

2019 Pan American Games stadium in Lima, Peru

Swimming: Three athletes representing the U.S. Virgin Islands Olympic Committee began competition in several swimming events on Tuesday at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

Adriel Sanes, 20, Matthew Mays, 20, and Natalia Kuipers, 17, competed in the Men’s 100 Breaststroke, and the Men’s and Women’s 200m Butterfly, respectively.

For the morning events, Sanes swam 5th in the second heat of the Men’s 100m Breaststroke with a time of 1:03.03; Mays swam seventh with a time of 2:07.41 in the second heat of the Men’s 200m Butterfly; Kuipers finished seventh and clocked a time of 2:32.49 in the first heat of the Women’s 200m Butterfly, followed up later in the evening placing seventh with a time of 2:32:07 in the Final B for the same event.

All three athletes recently competed at the 18th FINA World Championships 2019 in Gwangju, South Korea, just two weeks ago. Both Sanes and Mays represented the territory last year at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games.

Women’s Basketball: U.S. Virgin Islands (ISV) Women’s Basketball team fell to Colombia 69-66 after holding a solid lead for most of their 2019 Pan American Games debut.

Both teams were pretty evenly matched at the end of game: both 25 percent at the 3-point line and ISV besting Colombia by just a few percentage points in the 2-pointers (42-37). However, Colombia proved more aggressive with rebounds with 51 compared to ISV’s 39.

Natalie Day, Imani Tate and Anisha George were team ISV’s top scoring players with 23, 22 and 15 points, respectively.

Tate said the challenge was definitely the height of the Colombian players and being more aggressive on defence.

“We have to box out and we have to put a body on them. We were undersized the whole game, so we had to go up against 6’8” and 6’5” players. We just have to box out, play defence and be consistent,” Tate said. “I think we struggled a little bit inside the post because they have shooters too, so it seems we have to play the shooters honest or help inside the post, but for the most part we did what we could.