Meet Guyana’s swimming sensation, Raekwon Noel

Meet Guyana’s swimming sensation, Raekwon Noel


Guyanese swimmer, Raekwon Noel
Guyanese swimmer, Raekwon Noel

At just 17 years old, Raekwon Noel holds 10 national records and recently qualified with A-times for seven events at the recently concluded CARIFTA trials. Raekwon’s A-times were more than all of the other athletes who took part in the meet, setting him apart as a swimming force to be reckoned with. His swimming talent has landed him a scholarship with Indiana University from 2024.

Loop Caribbean recently caught up with the swimmer who first got inspired by swimming in a hotel pool in Guyana. After ending up in the deep end of the pool, and trying to find his way back out until being pulled out by his mother, Raekwon would be placed into the swim club. Since then, he has not stopped and looks back fondly at the memory that launched his swim career.

Questioned about his recent wins and what they meant to him, Raekwon shared that while his preparation was hard, he fought through the training until he got the times that he wanted, which was the record. “I am a 4x National Record Holder for Guyana so it didn’t feel new at all. But I still felt accomplished,” said Raekwon.

Despite his obvious talent, he has not always gained the support he needed from the relevant associations. “I have experienced discrimination in Guyana and that is what really made me move to the US. That and the fact that there are so much better coaches in the US. The US is very diverse and I was born here so it felt like home in a special way. But for now, I will still be competing for Guyana internationally. Guyana is an extremely difficult place to grow as an athlete because of discrimination and the challenges you face but most athletes that want to take their career to the next level migrate because it’s just better for them,” shared the athlete.

He shared that the experiences of discrimination really affected him as he was and still is a child. “It is really difficult for a child to be overlooked because of their talent just because you know someone that wants to be there too. Children should not be used like that. It affects the child in the long run. Luckily, I had parents who stood up for me and stood up for our rights.”

Raekwon hopes that athletic swimming in Guyana grows and displays more professionalism and equity in their selection for meets.

Raekwon’s national open records are: 200m Freestyle – Time: 1:58.05; 400m Freestyle – Time: 4:15.35; 1500m Freestyle – Time: 18:00.00; 100m Backstroke – Time: 1:00.51; 200m Backstroke – Time: 2:15.20; 50m Butterfly – Time: 25.95; 100m Butterfly – Time: 57.01; 200m Butterfly – Time: 2:08.58

  • PublishedFebruary 26, 2023

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