Bahamain Team are off to Moscow

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Could the Bahamian bring home the Gold?

Anthonique Strachan on left runs the 200m with Shaunae Miller at the 2013 BTC National Open Track and Field Championships Photo: Andrew Coakley

By Alpheus Finlayson, BAAAs

This weekend saw some world leading performances around the world as well as a National record performance at Track City, Bahamas, as athletes from around the world attempt to earn spots on their national teams for the Moscow World Championships.
At the same time there were a number of disappointments which go with the territory.

Track City, Bahamas

The star attraction from Grand Bahama did not show. Demetrius Pinder had won the 400m in 2010, 2011, and 2012. He was a member of the Golden Knights who captured the 4x400m Gold medal in the London Olympic Games. Pinder had not run this year until the Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational where he was injured. He has not run since and nobody could tell us what his situation was.

Just like Yohan Blake did for the Jamaica National Championships, Pinder and or the BAAA should have done the honourable thing and told the Bahamian public of his current situation!

A second member of the Golden Knights, Michael Mathieu also did not show for the 400m. He did show to run the semi-final of the 200m and ran 20.62 sec. For whatever reason, Matthieu did not participate in the final.  He looked fit to most observers. Where does this place him with regards to team selection?

Mathieu, the National record holder in the 200m has qualified for both 200m and 400m for the Moscow World Championships. We are unaware as to what concessions he would receive, if any. If by some chance he is permitted to participate in the 200m in Moscow, it would be impossible for him to participate in the finals of the 4x4000m.  if he makes the semi-finals of the 200m, which he has done in Daegu and London. The semi-final is too close to the 4x400m final. We are certain that he and his handlers are aware of this.

The Bahamian public on the other hand were not told that Mathieu, who ran a significant leg in London and had run a 400m qualifying time thirteen days prior was not going to do what they expected him to do.

When you pay for the show you expect to get the whole show, unless somebody told you otherwise.

And my brothers and sisters, it is “Show Business”, isn’t it?!

Ramon Miller Triumphant, LaToy Williams Returns

After finishing second in the last two National “Open”  Track and Field Championships, Ramon Miller finally won. His time was 44.93 sec, compared to his 44.87 sec of 2012.

This is the best performance of any Bahamian this year and a Moscow World Championships “A” standard.

LaToy Williams of Grand Bahama, who had run the world’s leading time in April of 2009 finished in second place, the best he has done in The Bahamas since then.

Williams ran 45.26 sec which is also a Moscow “A”  standard.

Chris Brown, who holds the Bahamian National record at 44.40 sec, and who finished in fourth place in London, finished third in 45.29 sec, a hundredth of a second below the Moscow “A”  standard.

Finishing in fourth was Wesley Neymour, a new find from North Andros, in a personal best of 45.54 sec.

Stephen Newbold, who ran a National Junior record of 45.94 sec at the BTC 2013 Carifta Games as well as a new National Junior record in the 200m at 20.76 sec several weeks ago, finished fifth in a disappointing 46.08 sec. He ran 44.4 sec at the Penn Relays to anchor the Bahamas 4x400m relay team in the USA vs The World competition. The team qualified for the Moscow World Championships with that performance.

There are only fifty before the 4x400m relay finals in Moscow and the BAAA and athletes have much work to do!

Can the Golden Knights repeat in Moscow?

No team has defeated the mighty USA in this event consecutively but everything is possible if “We Put Our Hearts and Hands Into It”!

Did the fans in Track City last weekend feel “we”  are “putting our hearts and hands into it”?

Anthonique vs Shaunae

Shaunae Miller disappointed the fans on Friday evening when she did not show up for the 400m.

Was she registered for the 400m and switched?

Her best time in the 400m was 50.70 sec done at the NCAA Championships in Eugene.

Whatever the situation, it should have been communicated to the fans.

As it turned out Miller, the 2010 World Junior and 2011 World Youth Champion and 2013 Austin Sealy Award winner decided to challenge her high school teammate Anthonique Strachan, the IAAF Female Rising Star of 2012, in the 200m.

Strachan won both 100m and 200m at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona last summer.

This season Miller had run 22.61 sec for the University of Georgia. Strachan, on the other hand, had run 22.93sec, both “A”  standards for Moscow.

The Bahamian fans had hoped for a showdown last year but that was not to happen.

The event was a classic. The speedster Strachan defeated the 400m runner in a time of 22.32 sec to 22.45 sec, bests for both athletes. On Saturday Strachan’s time was the second best in the world, following Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare who sat in the seasonal lead at 22.31sec.

Track City’s Nivea Smith finished third in 23.17 sec, another “A” standard.

Debbie Ferguson-MKenzie, who holds the Bahamian National record at 22.19 sec from 1999, decided not to contest this event.

By Miller deciding to contest the 200m instead of the 400m it would seem that this is the event she wishes to participate in in Moscow!

The BAAA indicated that the athlete had to participate in the event they wished to participate in Moscow.

Sheniqua Ferguson Dominates 100m

Sheniqua Ferguson who has graduated from Auburn University ran 11.18 sec for the century, a creditable time demonstrating that she is fit.

Cache Armbrister formerly a teammate at Auburn and now training in Jamaica, ran 11.44 sec for second place.

Veteran Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, who first participated in the World Championships in 1995, finished in third place with a time of 11.50 sec.

Nivea Smith finished fourth in 11.71 sec.

The Bahamas has qualified for the Women’s 4x100m relay. Who will make up the team for Moscow?

We have also qualified for the Women’s 4x400m relay. Just who will run will be determined by the results of the Women’s 400m in Track City and what the athletes on the squad do in the Sr. Central American and Caribbean Championships.

In Track City, Lanece Clarke ran 53.03 sec, Amara Jones 53.52 sec, Shakietha Henfield 53.71 sec and Miriam Byfield 53.83 sec.

All four have qualified for the Senior Central American and Caribbean Championships in Mexico. Only two can compete, though.

Other Events with Qualified Bahamians

Jeffrey Gibson had qualified for the 400m hurdles at the NCAA Championships, breaking Greg Rolle’s thirty year old Bahamian National record in the process.

Gibson ran 51.10sec on Friday compared to his 49.39 sec done in Eugene.

The second place finisher, Alexander Edwards, finished in 55.60 sec.

Derrick Atkins has qualified for the 100m with a 10.06 sec performance on June 8th. In Track City he ran 10.20 sec for the win. Chavez Hart finished second in 10.24 sec, Trevorano Mackey third in 10.25 sec, and Warren Fraser fourth in 10.28 sec.

The Bahamas has not qualified the men’s 4x100m relay team for Moscow but this team has the opportunity to do so in Mexico at the Senior Central American and Caribbean Championships, July 5th-7th.

Jamial Rolle had qualified for the 200m with a 20.51 sec clocking on June 8th.He finished second in the event in 20.78 sec. to Trevorano Mackey’s 20.71 sec.

Both Donald Thomas and Ryan Ingraham had qualified at the “B” standard in the High Jump. Trevor Barry decided to skip the competition after an injury.

There was a mix up in communication as Thomas thought the event was scheduled for 5:00pm, and not 4:00pm.

Ingraham cleared 2.28m (7’6”) for the “B” standard and on appeal Thomas was permitted to jump by himself. Thomas cleared the same height but Ingraham was awarded the victory based upon number of attempts.

At the “B” standard, only one Bahamian can participate in Moscow. Thomas has a 2.29m (7’6-1/4”) indoor performance. Who will participate for The Bahamas?

Why officials did not contact Thomas to inform him of the schedule change is a mister.

Bianca Stuart had qualified for the “A”  standard of the Long Jump in Dakar, Senegal several weeks ago. Her performance was 6.73m (22’1”).

In Grand Bahama Stuart was able to jump 6.61m (21’8-1/2”)

Onward To Moscow?

Several additional Bahamians have opportunities to qualify for Moscow. The Senior Central American and Caribbean Championships is in Morelia, Mexico on the weekend of July 5th-7th.

As many of our athletes, those qualified and those seeking qualification need to attend.

We need to operate as a well-oiled team with all hands on deck as we march onward to Moscow!