An excellent junior career is not always a manifestation of repeated stellar performances at the senior, advanced level.
So, we don't know for sure just how consistent the superb sprinter, Anthonique Strachan, will be from this point onward. We salute her now though for having been one of the world's finest junior competitors in the history of track and field. This past weekend in Bermuda, when she joined a very elite list of double Austin Sealy (Most Outstanding) Award winners, Strachan served notice that she is for real and the potential is certainly there for her to become one of the best on the senior circuit for as long as she decides to remain in competition.
In being declared the 2012 CARIFTA Games Austin Sealey Award winner, she moved up there with fellow Bahamian Laverne Eve (1982-1983), The Cayman Islands' Kareem Streete-Thompson (1989-1990), Trinidad & Tobago's Darrel Brown (1999-2000), and Jamaica's Usain Bolt (2003-2004). That's a quality group indeed.
When Strachan won the award last year, she became the fifth Bahamian so honored, inclusive of Maryann Higgs (1978), Pauline Davis (1984) and Debbie Ferguson (1995). Now the world looks for Strachan to make her mark as a senior athlete. The London 2012 Olympics will begin on July 27 and Strachan is one of the early favorites to be a finalist in at least one of the short sprints.
She presently is listed as number three in the world in the 100 meters (11.22) and number four (22.85) behind compatriot Shaunae Miller's leading 22.70 in the 200 meters (m). Despite the time difference, when Strachan actually ran away from Miller in the one-two Bahamian 200m finish in Bermuda, she showed what a dangerous opponent her peers will face going forward.
Actually, she was quite comfortable, wining both sprints in Bermuda, and for the second year in a row, getting into the record book. The 22.85 clocking broke the previous standard (22.93) in the 200 meters she shared with Jamaica's Veronica Campbell. If she maintains her conditioning, Strachan will be quite tough as the years go by, no matter the competition. I refer now to two of several instances from the 2012 CARIFTA Games that remain with me.
I watched Strachan's start in the 200m final in Bermuda, so confident and fluid and then she just moved away from Miller, who is an amazing athlete also. Then, there was the final leg of the under-20 female 4x100m relay. When Strachan got the baton she was about six meters behind Jamaica's swift Shericka Jackson. The Bahamian slipped quickly into top gear, caught Jackson and passed her. It looked so easy for Strachan.
It was a wonderful representation by our young boys and girls of track and field. How about that Anthonique Strachan though? She is something else. Best wishes to Strachan and her colleagues for the remainder of 2012 and beyond.
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com
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