Bahamas On Track To Qualify 4 Relays For Moscow

Over the weekend at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia the Bahamas was on a mission to qualify four relays teams to participate in this summer’s IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Moscow. On Saturday afternoon three teams qualified.

The men’s 4x400m relay team, women’s 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams qualified.

At the Berlin World Championships four years ago three teams qualified and participated. The Men’s 4x400m relay, the women’s 4x100m relay, and for the very first time, the women’s 4x400m relay.

The men’s 4x100m relay team first participated in Mexico City in 1968 with the team of Norris Stubbs, Kevin Johnson, Dr. Bernard Nottage, and Thomas Robinson advancing to the semi-final. In 2000 the team participated in Sydney.

Henry Rolle who is an assistant coach at Auburn University is the coordinator of this programme. Every effort is being made to provide athletes an opportunity for success.

Men’s 4x400m

The Bahamas captured the Gold medal in this event in London and is making every effort to repeat in Moscow.

That team consisted of Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu, and Ramon Miller. At Penn Pinder was unable to participate due to his slight injury at the Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational. He was replaced by Stephen Newbold, still a junior athlete, who set a new Bahamian National Junior Record at the recent BTC 2013 Carifta Games of 45.95sec. in the semi-final and came back that evening in the final finishing in third place in 46.01sec!

At Penn Ramon Miller started. Miller had been suffering from a stomach virus earlier in the week and ran a subpar 47.4sec to lead off.

Michael Mathieu took the baton and ran 45.0sec. He passed it on the Chris Brown, who started in London, and had not run so far this season. Brown ran 45.4sec.

Then it was put in the hands of the youngster Stephen Newbold who ran an amazing 44.4sec anchor leg to bring the Bahamas to third place! Not bad with Pinder sidelined.

After the performance of Newbold at the BTC 2013 Carifta Games it was felt that he would have been able to make the Moscow World Championships team.

The 2011 World 200m Youth Champion has demonstrated that in Philadelphia competing with the world’s best.

The qualifying time for this event is 3:05.00.

The USA won in 3:01.91 and The Bahamas in 3:02.23!

This was Brown’s first outing for the season.

Women’s 4x100m

The Bahamian Golden Girls, Debbie Ferguson, Chandra Sturrup, Savetheda Fynes, and Pauline Davis-Thompson won the Seville World Championships in 1999 and repeated with the Gold in Sydney.

Then in Berlin in 2009 a team of Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, Chandra Sturrup, Sheniqua Ferguson, and Christine Amertil won the Silver medal. In 1996 a team of Eldece Clarke, Chandra Sturrup, Savetheda Fynes, and Pauline Davis won the Silver medal in Atlanta.

At Penn Carmiesha Cox, Sheniqua Ferguson, Nivea Smith, and Anthonique Strachan ran 43.90sec for sixth place.

Jamaica won the event in 42.42sec.The World Championships qualifying time is 44.00sec.

Women’s 4x400m

Christine Amertil started off with a 52.7sec clocking. Amara Jones continued with a 52.9sec clip, Cotrell Martin ran 53.4sec, and Lanece Clarke finished with a 53.9sec clip, giving the Bahamian team a 3:32.9 finish for sixth place.

The qualifying time for Moscow for this event is 3:33.00. The USA ran 3:22.66.

The team did not have the services of Shanuae Miller who attends the University of Georgia. Miller has one of the best times in the United States this year.

Men’s 4x100m

Last year the men’s team attempted to qualify for the Olympic Games without success. They did not run much better than the Junior team that finished sixth in the IAAF World Junior Track And Field Championships in Barcelona. They improved the National Junior record several times, finishing in 39.48sec in the Barcelona semi-finals.

In Philadephia Shane Jones, Stephen Newbold, and Teray Smith, who participated on that team were joined by Antillio Bastian for a 39.49sec clocking for sixth place.

Smith captured the Gold medal in the 200m at this year’s BTC 2013 Carifta Games.

Bahamian National record holder in the 100m and Osaka World Championships Silver medalist Derrick Atkins should be able to make a difference but the coordinators and the Atkins have to make the effort for this to happen.

The Moscow qualifying time is 39.20sec.

There are about fourteen weeks left before the Moscow championships and Henry Rolle and the other coordinators must find several additional opportunities to make the qualifying performances.

Moscow vs London

For the Olympic Games, the top sixteen teams were selected. For Moscow it is only a question of making the standard. The Bahamas has already qualified for three relays, the Women’s 4x100m, Women’s 4x400m, and men’s 4x400m. Nobody can knock them out of their positions.

All it now takes with them is to improve their performances with whichever athletes are best at the time, and make every effort to qualify in the Men’s 4x100m relay.

Golden Knights

The whole world will be aiming at upsetting the Golden Knights in Moscow in August. Track and Field News has already predicted them to win the Silver medal with the USA capturing the Gold once more, this time in Moscow.

The support of the Bahamian fans is crucial. Our hope and dream is for a plane load of Bahamians to be in the stands in Moscow chairing on the Golden Knights and the other Bahamian teams.

29th April 2013

Alpheus Finlayson