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Q & A on pet adoption with the Humane Society of Grand Bahama
We will be announcing a fantastic holiday adoption special very soon and thought it might be useful to answer some commonly asked questions and debunk a few myths along the way.
You have so many dogs and cats - why don't you just give them away for free?
Good question! We charge a nominal adoption fee for two reasons. One; it costs us (often far more than the adoption fee) to care for each pet, to provide medical care like vaccines, deworming and preventatives for heartworm and fleas and ticks. Sometimes animals come to us with injuries and illnesses and this adds to the cost of their care. The nominal adoption fees we normally charge - $75 for dogs and puppies, $50 for cats and kittens - allow us to recoup at least some of these costs which then allows us to continue to treat and care for more animals in need. And two: if adopters can't afford our very reasonable adoption fees, we wonder if they can afford to provide proper care for their adopted pet. However; we often run specials with much lower fees, and senior citizens (65 and over) are never charged a fee. (Although we welcome donations at all times!)
You have so many dogs and cats - why are you so picky and why do you have to come to my house?
One of the reasons we have so many dogs and cats is because not everyone buys, adopts or takes in a stray animal for life. Not everyone is truly prepared to provide everything that pet needs. A large number of the animals that enter our shelter are surrendered by their owners for various reasons. A small sampling of those reasons: moving and can't take the pet, fleas or ticks, the pet is sick or injured and don't want to pay a vet bill, the kids are not taking care of the pet, the dog barks too much, or not enough; the cat is scratching the furniture, the cat or dog "won't stay home", the dog digs up the plants or pulls the clothes off the line, tired of the dog or cat having too many babies, can't afford to take care of anymore, and we've even heard "got new furniture and the cat has to go", and "moving to an upscale area and the dog and cat won't fit in"! Many more animals are picked up or brought in as strays, yet they are friendly, some even wearing a collar, and it's obvious they had a home but no one ever come looking for them.
Nassau, Bahamas - Attention all graphic designers, painters, digital painters, printmakers and photographers!
Islandz is pleased to announce our
"Spirit of the Islandz" Art Competition
just in time for the Holiday season. With $1,800 dollars in cash prizes
up for grabs, this is a great opportunity to showcase your skills and
compete for some Christmas cash. All you have to do is download our
Call for Submissions and see if you're up for the challenge.
Islandz is a new Bahamian social entrepreneurship
enterprise whose mission is to provide local artists with innovative
channels for them to market and distribute their work. They are the
winner of the 2010 Tourism in the Caribbean Business Plan Competition
held by the Inter-American Development Bank's Opportunities for the
On July 10, 1973, when the Union Jack was lowered and the country's national flag raised for the first time, Bahamians everywhere stood in pride. Today, that same joy is felt through the accomplishments of our athletes competing on the local, regional and international stages.
It is that sense of national pride that pushes our athletes forward and keeps the fire burning in the hearts of the executives of the various sporting federations who work extremely hard to make the dream possible.
A wide range of sports are played in The Bahamas but only 10 are referred to as the core sports in the country, and a handful come under the Bahamas Olympic Committee. Here's what the various federation heads had to say about the development of their respective disciplines.
Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA)
President Mike Sands
The success of the association over the years is directly attributed to the outstanding performances of the athletes. The BAAA is an organization that creates opportunities for athletes to participate in various meets internationally and regionally.
"We also have taken a very special interest and care in certifying our coaches through courses. We encourage and support them in taking advantage of the courses that are available through the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as well as USA Track and Field," said Sands.
These programs allow participants to improve their skills. "Over the years we have seen a growth in the number of coaches who are certified at the top level. The association has provided them with opportunities to become knowledgeable about the sport and through that extent, we have seen outstanding performances from our athletes. We have taken great pride in making that one of our priorities."
There have been some challenges as the association tries to reach new heights and improve, but nonetheless improvements on all levels have been achieved.
"The association has recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, [during] which we have highlighted numerous athletes and persons who have contributed to the programs. There is no doubt that we have grown and that the history of the organization is rich. Our founders have fought hard and the athletes have capitalized on the accomplishments from those before them. The association has become the victim of our success to an extent because the ability to fund the teams is challenging. But through the support of corporate Bahamas, the government and other sponsors we were able to provide athletes with the many opportunities. There are a number of initiatives we would like to improve upon and we are now viewing our strategic plan to determine how we will do so," according to Sands.
As far as accomplishments, there have been many.
"We can go far back as Thomas Robinson and others who were the first to make a mark on the international scene. The torch has been passed on and we thank persons like Thomas Robinson for their contributions," he said.
"Our success is notable. Athletes have excelled on all levels. The BAAA does not count medals but looks at the personal achievements of our athletes. That is key. Over the years, we have collected a lot of medals, but seen so many improvements from our athletes. That is our driving force, our motivation."
Bahamas Swimming Federation (BSF)
President Algernon Cargill
"Our focus is ensuring that we can develop a comprehensive National Learn to Swim program and provide an opportunity for every young Bahamian to swim. Those with potential will be identified so they can move onto more competitive swimming. We've noticed that there are too many Bahamians who cannot swim, and given the geography of The Bahamas that is really not a very good thing," said Cargill.
BSF wants to have continuous growth and development in the sport.
"The progress and success of our age group is measured by our success at CARIFTA. From 2003 to date, we have placed in the top three at those games. In 2006, we came within seven points of winning CARIFTA. So we see a lot of progress in swimming, especially at the CARIFTA level, in terms of growth," said Cargill.
The federation was represented at the Olympic Games and the FINA World Championships. At the last Olympic Games, The Bahamas had four swimmers, two females for the first time. In 2004, The Bahamas had the first female swimmer qualify for the Olympic Games, Nikia Deveaux. In the last Olympic Games, 2008, both Alanna Dillette and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace qualified. This summer, Vanderpool-Wallace will be the lone swimmer. But she has already won a world medal. The Bahamas has never before made it to the finals of the World Championships. To win a medal speaks to the success of the program.
"The success of our female relay team in placing at such a high level, globally, speaks to the potential of swimming in The Bahamas. We need more Olympic swimmers, and create more scholarships for swimmers. For some reason swimming doesn't receive the same profile in the eyes of college recruiters as track and field does. But we want to see more Bahamians on athletic scholarships to colleges abroad," said Cargill.
"The BSF wants to open more doors for our swimmers. We have had tremendous growth and the increase is phenomenal. Our swimmers have so much potential. And as a result we are looking beyond the CARIFTA Games and are now looking to win other competitions like CCAN. We want to develop aquatic sports like water polo and synchronized swimming. Diving is also on our list. There was a female's water polo team that just stopped and now the male team is in the developmental stages. But we haven't done anything in diving and synchronized swimming. We haven't explored the open water swimming as much. There were a few open water meets but we need to develop it more so we can compete at the regional and international levels," he added.
"Since we were founded we have expanded in terms of facilities, but we still need more pools. We have one 50 meter pool that is heavily used. There should be a pool in the east, west and south of New Providence. There were the addition of more swim clubs in New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands and we look to improve on this as well in the coming years."
Bahamas Football Association (BFA)
President Anton Sealey
"Over the years we have competed on every level. We have competed in senior men, women, under-23 boys and girls, under-19, under-17 and in the under-15 divisions. We have seen tremendous growth, certainly in terms of numbers and the participants in the various groups. We have had an increase on the junior side, which has assisted with the growth in the league. There have been some peaks and valleys when it comes to the senior league. We had a women's league established years ago and for various reasons that league stopped. But over the last two years, under the leadership of Daria Adderley, we started to rekindle the women's league and we are going to be putting on some tournaments in the next year or so. In Grand Bahama, they've always maintained a vibrant women's program and a competitive women's league. That is a flip to their men's league, which has not been participating over the last three years," said Sealey.
"I am not as satisfied with the level of growth but I have always maintained and believe that growth has to be managed and that we have managed our growth. Because it is an amateur sport, you rely on volunteers, for the most part, to do these things. Because of the growth at the youth level, a lot of the volunteers are spending their time at that level. Therefore, we don't have the quality and the number of volunteers for the senior level that will really commit you to see any meaningful growth. But, because of the amount of juniors we have coming through, we need to do something to address that senior level football. That is the challenge that the federation faces right now."
Sealy and his team took the helm in 1996 but the association was founded long before. Prior to 1996, the emphasis was always on senior soccer.
"During the years 1973 to about 1996, we had a very vibrant senior men's league here in Nassau and to a lesser extent in Freeport. But the level of play was very high and competitive. We had a heavy influence of foreign nationals participating in the league because we had foreign teachers and croupiers at that time. So these people made up the football teams that played here. At that time we had a very good senior program but nothing was happening on the junior level," explained Sealey. "In 1996, when the current administration came into office, we recognized this and our first plan in action was to develop a youth development program which would be the feeder system to the senior league. So there was a renaissance of the game when the league took a decline in the number of teams participating and that is when we embarked on the youth development program. That had a tremendous affect. Now we have competitive games, a good crowd and are performing favorably in international competitions."
Bahamas Softball Federation (BSF)
President Burkette Dorsette
The federation has transformed over the last 40 years, according to Dorsette.
"One time we were at our pinnacle in softball when we finished third in the world in the men's and ladies'. We had a lull in that progression sometime around the 1990s and early 2000s but we are gradually getting back there. The last time the men competed in the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games we finished fourth. So we are heading back there and want to improve on our placing. We have teams who are now working out for a couple of very important tournaments," said Dorsette.
The Pan American Games and the World Qualifiers are high on the schedule. Those matches will be played in September of this year. When it comes to the juniors, the International Softball Federation (ISF) has stepped up its programs and the BSF wants to feed off that.
"We had sent a novice team off to the under-16 tournament last year. They didn't fair too well but we expected that because that was their first international trip. Since then a good junior program has been developed, which we hope the teams in New Providence can piggy back off [of]," he said.
The federation also assists the associations with the development of their programs.
"We have stepped up our game, in terms of our development, and would like to supply more to our associations, whether it is equipment or technical support. The technical aspect will come in our game officiating and we would be taking full advantage of the ongoing umpires clinics," said Dorsette.
The BSF has just received word from the ISF regarding international certification courses for umpires. There are about six internationally certified umpires now and the BSF wants to add to that.
"Over the years we have seen a decline in the administrations of some of our associations. There are plans to host some administrative courses," he shared.
Two new associations have joined the federation.
"Inagua is in full swing and we have just received application from Spanish Wells. I recently returned from Cat Island and they have expressed interest and are preparing a field for softball play on that island. So softball is picking up in the country whether it is fast pitch, modified pitch or slow pitch. There have been a lot of improvements since the founding day. We've hosted numerous tournaments and added various associations under our umbrella," said Dorsette.
"The progression over the last 40 years has been tremendous. We will continue to pursue avenues on where and how we can improve the game. These improvements will also be seen on the adminstration, technical and upkeep of facilities. The future is very bright and we want to continue to grow by leaps and bounds. We have some young talented players who are great prospects and that is always an encouragement."
Bahamas Volleyball Federation (BVF)
Acting President Joseph Smith
The changes in the game have affected the BVF in a positive light, said its acting president Joseph Smith.
"There has been an increase in all of our programs, from the junior to the senior development side. The game has changed drastically and The Bahamas has been improving from then. We have competed on high levels. There were teams who represented The Bahamas at many qualifiers in the past and we are back on track with playing in these qualifiers. At one time, The Bahamas was number one on the women's side and on the men, we were ranked number two in the English-speaking Caribbean," he noted.
"When the changes to the rules of the game were first introduced we had a little lull, but as time progressed our players caught on. The federation was able to bridge that gap around 2000. That is also the year when we revamped our program, adding more of our junior players to the senior teams. The older teams had seen success and we wanted to infiltrate the juniors into this program so when our more senior players bowed out, the juniors would fill in.
"The executives made sure that our coaches and officials were up to international standards. That has trickled down to our players who are now coaches themselves. So overall, you would have seen a quicker game with a defensive player."
The list of players who have gone on to college on a volleyball scholarship is "very long".
"We still have some in the pipe line. Not only was the past a strong one, and the foundation sound, but the future looks bright. We have climbed our way back up the ranking ladder," said Smith. "Some of the older players have returned to assist the teams, departing some of the knowledge they know on the younger guys."
Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF)
President Charles 'Softly' Robins
The Bahamas Basketball Association was the governing body back in the day and the sport grew under Mr. Vince Ferguson. I watched it grow from then to now, and I have seen basketball come a long, long way. Many people might say that the sport is not growing, but it is definitely growing. There was a time that it seemed like we had better players, but we didn't have better players. What happened was there were a lot of players on one team. Players either joined the Kentucky Colonel, Fox Hill Mangoes or the Cougars. Those teams were so good because they had the numbers. So everyone enjoyed basketball back then. The actual game, comparing to now, was much better because we played more basic basketball and the players back then were fundamentally sound. But the game itself has grown, it is quicker and flashier.
Bahamians enjoyed the game and it showed every time the players stepped on the court. It was a joy to see players like Quant Sterling, who was ranked number one at one point in the Caribbean, play. He along with many others gave you a show that was worth every dollar spent. Nowadays, we have players who can make it into the NBA, who have even played at the high level, but their commitment wasn't like how it was in the past. They were a committed group of players who were willing to learn the game. There was a point when wearing the flag on your chest meant a lot. They took pride in the game and it showed in their dominant performance. Some people will say the players today can not compete with those in the past, but I believe that they can.
There is much more competition now. But we still were able to produce professional players who have played in the NBA. We also had a lot of other ball players who tried out for the professional rank. Now I see a lot of potential and we can surpass the numbers that we had in the past. I don't think the sport is in a decline. Not all of our professional players are in the NBA, they are playing in other leagues as well. We are coming back. This crew of ball players now, they are really good. So in the coming years, we should be able to produce at least three or four basketball players.
Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA)
President Derron Donaldson
Over the years we have built on the accomplishments of some of our more notable players like Mark Knowles, Roger Smith and Kim Cartwright. Their, along with many others', achievements on the local and international stages have paved the way for players like Nikkita Fountain, Larikah Russell, Kerrie Cartwright, Devin Mullings, Marvin Rolle and others. We are now seeing a resurgence in the sport and the main reason for that is because we created a feeder system. More juniors are now coming forth and are playing at a very high level. They are getting opportunities many persons in the past did not get. A number of our players are ranked.
At the recently held Davis Cup, we changed the look of the team and sent the young players. We wanted to give them an opportunity. This year was our 24th appearance at the tournament. From since we started playing in the Davis Cup, in 1989, we've played in about 66 ties. We have never made it to the World Group but I think we can get there. We did make it into the World Group play-offs, that was back in 1993. So you can see our tennis players have the potential.
Locally, we have hosted several international and regional tournaments. Bahamians have competed in these tournaments, and done extremely well. All of this is a part of our growth. There are a lot of changes we are going to make in the upcoming months. The changes that were made in the past we have built and improve on them. We competed in the Olympics. That was a major accomplishment and we want to get back there. We know that we will need to get our players in tournaments where they can earn more points. This opens the doors for them.
Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF)
President Danny Sumner
The BBFF started off with Hubert Wong, Cyril Smith, Edison Deleveaux and Dr. Norman Gay.
"They were the principal people who got the ball rolling and organized the association. Wong was the first president. That was the year they got a commitment from the International Federation for Bodybuilding's (IFB) president Ben Weider for The Bahamas to be added to the international list.
"We were the third member of the IFB that year. As we moved forward a lot of Bahamians became interested. Dr. Gay was president and was working extremely hard to promote the sport. One of the more notable athletes in the first era was Kingsley Poitier," recalled Sumner. "He was the most prolific. Kingsley Poitier won Mr. World. That was the highest award you could have won in bodybuilding at that time. Other persons who were outstanding on the international level were Glen Wells. He competed in Mr. Universe. There was Tony Carroll, Edison Deleveaux and Aurthur Eldon, who was around a long time. Those names were like the pioneer names who competed internationally. They sparked the fire for bodybuilders on the local scene. We had a lot of top bodybuilders going all the way back to Jeremy Knowles, Della Thomas, Joel Stubbs, Raymond Tucker and so on. We've had success at the Centeral American and Caribbean Games and next month, August, we will be heading back there," said Sumner.
He said the numbers have decreased over the years but the federation is finding ways to spark interest.
"We went into the schools and the new segments have attracted more females," shared Sumner. "So, yes, we've grown but we have also had our fair share of ups and downs. We are now working on ways to bring more people in."
Bahamas Baseball Federation (BBF)
President Craig Kemp
"I think we're the youngest federation formed," said Kemp.
In the past BBF was governed by the Bahamas Baseball Association and about 10 years ago the federation was formed.
"Our focus is making the athletes better and ensuring that baseball is played in the country. We have grown tremendously from the day of inception."
The BBF's most notable tournament is the nationals, named after Andre Rodgers, one of the country's most outstanding players who went on to play in the major leagues in the U.S.
"Our nationals have grown from 12 teams to about 44 or 46 teams now. We never had an accurate count of teams that were playing back then or the number of players that were professional players. Looking back at history, we can tell you that we did have professional players and they have excelled. That has paved the way for so many of our younger players who are looking to move into the professional ranks. Antoan Richardson is just one of our professional players," said Kemp.
Over the past 10 years the federation has assisted players with obtaining scholarships to attend college, universities and high schools in the United States.
"That is something we are very proud of," Kemp boasted. "Many of these players came up through the leagues under the umbrella. Our junior league is very strong. Yes, we had a decline in the sport but it has nothing to do with the fact that we don't have any stadium. We had a void for about two decades where there was very little organized baseball being played."
In what is expected to be the biggest musical showdown of the year, in less than two weeks six Bahamian bands will go head to head for a chance to compete for the coveted title of the "Best Bahamian Band".
But this isn't a karaoke competition. The bands will have to perform original music in front of a live audience. And after the last note is played, a champion will be crowned and will have the opportunity to travel to Thailand to do it all over again - only this time it will be on a much bigger stage.
The Global Battle of the Bands competition will take place at Botanical Gardens on November 30. Doors open at 3 p.m. and the competition begins at 5 p.m.
Every year local qualifying heats and finals take place in participating countries around the world, with the winners of these going forward to the world finals.
Competing bands include Johnnie Christie and the Floating Boats, The Truth, Avante Guarden, Kontact, New Entry and Plati Dred, according to Chairperson of the Global Battle of the Bands Bahamas competition Ricardo Berris.
"Our mission is to find one band in every country that has the potential of being successful internationally, and then we'll put them all together in a world's final and award the top band with a $100,000 band development package, a chance to tour the world and sign a contract with a record label," Berris told Guardian Pulse yesterday.
The Bahamas is only in its second year competing in the competition, which started in 2004. Despite being the new kids on the block, Berris said The Bahamas' band has already made its mark on the competition.
Stinkin' Wayz, last year's Bahamian winner, placed third against 30 countries during the September 15 competition in Romania.
Berris, who is organizing the local leg of the competition, said the people can expect a "fabulous show". He said the country has to live up to the reputation it created last year.
"We brought the standard of the competition to an extreme high to the likes that we've never seen before," Berris said.
"The rest of the world actually looked on and gave praises to The Bahamas and Zamar (audio visual and productions company) for executing at such a high level. Most other countries never really went that far. We take this very seriously and our bands do too, so it will help lift the competition globally."
But while contending that The Bahamas has a lot of talent, Berris said there have been some issues finding bands.
"We had some challenges because bands share members a lot and that's not something that we look for in our quest to find a band," he said.
"Another challenge is they don't write a lot of music. We are featuring original music that is played live. That's essentially our mission.
"So you may not see your band perform this year because they have to prep and it takes a while to prep and sometimes bands just don't have such a long life. They will form today and then they'll be out tomorrow."
Tickets for the event are $10 in advance and $20 at the door.
Berris estimates that it will be a sold-out event.
"Last year we had about 6,000 people," he said. "This year we expect the same thing."
Berris said the local organization is hoping to host the finals in The Bahamas in the near future.
As for how winners are chosen, Berris added that both local and international judges have been chosen to rate the bands. However, those attending will get the opportunity to have their say.
The viewers' choice will go toward the final score.
"It's important to come to enjoy but also to come and help us to decide," Berris said. "This is your competition really. It's about you helping us to determine which one of the bands will be the best. You know what quality music should be."
Tickets can be purchased at CTI Cellular and Electronics, Negril Cafe, The Counsellors, Maranatha Music or Audio Plus. Children under 12 will be admitted without charge.
The countdown is on to the Taste of the Caribbean competition and as long as the team members stay focused and don't worry
about what other people are doing, they should be okay says team coach Devin Johnson.
Prior to heading off to Miami on Wednesday for the June 22-26 competition at the Hyatt Regency the team prepared a presentation
dinner which Chef Johnson says had some ups and downs, but he told the team that now is the time for them to stay together
and operate as a unit, straight through the conclusion of the competition.
"They have to stay together and be one straight throughout. They have to know each other like they're married. All the other
things they used to do before, they have to put aside and get to know more about each other so that they know each person's
movements in the kitchen.
For the five-course presentation dinner held at Old Fort Bay Club the team served crawfish and okra broth with mini dumplings;
pan-seared Nassau grouper atop grilled shucked corn and grits laced with Auntie Vicki's stew gravy and curry coconut conch
balls on a bed of vanilla infused callalo with grandma's backyard tomato jam and fever grass oil; Abaco key lime sorbet; duo
of island jerk flank steak with fence line mushrooms finished with jerk-tamarind reduction and smoked sour orange scented
duck sausage accompanied with sweet potato bread, wild thyme flavored vegetable slaw; and chocolate coffee mousse, local strawberry
guava pudding with Myers' dark rum emulsion and mango ice cream with mango-mint chutney.
The meal served at the fundraising dinner was 85 percent what the team's management were aiming for, says Chef Johnson who
brought the errors to the team's attention before the evening was finished.
"The meat wasn't as tender as I expected, some of the crisps and components and some of the flavorings that I wanted just
weren't there. Some of the consistency -- like the entrée was one of the weakest dishes on the evening with the meat as well
as the sauce. It wasn't what we expected."
Despite the errors, Chef Johnson said the team was getting stronger daily, and being more consistent in what they do, and
because of that he said they were getting more confident.
"I've told them to stay focused, stay to the plan and stay doing the same things they've been doing all along which will better
He also switched up the dessert because he wanted the pastry chef to be able to think on his feet.
"Because there will be other teams there, and in case another team picks all of the fruit before them and there's only one
fruit left, we want them to know what they're going to do. We want them to be able to think on their feet. If there's just
banana left, I had them do banana three different ways, because it may be the only thing left, and that's what we had them
Besides the actual competition, Chef Johnson says the team should expect to engage in lots of classroom work leading up to
the competition, and they're going to have to do their time cards.
The premier Caribbean competition provides education and inspiration to industry peers and consumer culinary enthusiasts and
provides education and inspiration through seminars, workshops, tasting and demonstrations created to enhance performance,
style and profitability in food and beverage operations.
With the rookie team, Chef Johnson's advice to them is to stay focused, and not watch, or worry about what other people do.
"When we won the gold last year, we had to choose between going first or last. I picked last, the reason being, while they're
in the room I can be going around to see what the other competitors are doing."
The road to Taste of the Caribbean starts in the Caribbean as each island holds individual competitions to select three chefs
-- one pastry, one junior chef and one bartender that comprise the national team. There are four new components to the competition
-- the taste of the nation street festival which allows competitors to depict two savory dishes, one sweet and one rum beverage
and three individual competitions -- seafood, beef and chef of the year,
At the competition, a random drawing takes place where teams are assigned their competition spot, lunch or dinner. The competition
is a hot food one where the competitors cook and present food to be judged on taste as well as execution of skills and presentation.
Ingredients for the basket are the same for everyone and are not revealed in advance.
Bartenders representing their individual countries, similarly prepare a variety of drinks, demonstrating their creativity,
bartending skills and personality. There are three-rounds of competition in the non-alcoholic, vodka and rum categories. The
top four bartenders go on to compete for the title of Caribbean Bartender of the Year. In the final round they have 30 minutes
to design and prepare a cocktail of their choice.
The Bahamas has participated in Taste of the Caribbean annually since 1998, and has captured four team gold medals, and one
silver medal. Two persons have been selected as Pastry Chef o the Year, Sally Gaskin in 2004 and Tracey Sweeting in 2006.
The Bahamian team has been honored for the best Caribbean menu, and won numerous individual gold medals.
Gay concerns with the Bahamas wedding promotion, Bahamas 16 Islands Invitation has led to the withdrawal of one of the judges, and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism having to clarify competition rules.
LONDON, England - Sheniqua 'Q' Ferguson advanced to the semi-finals of the women's 100 meters (m) yesterday with a time of 11.35 seconds, while Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie was faster with a time of 11.32 seconds but failed to move on.
That's just the way it goes sometimes as the latter found herself in a faster opening round heat and couldn't maintain pace with the leaders. Only the top three runners from the first round, and the next three fastest times, moved on to the semi-finals; and Ferguson finished third with her clocking of 11.35, while Ferguson-McKenzie ended up fifth.
With that fifth place finish by Ferguson-McKenzie in her heat at the 30th Olympic Games, one of the most
impressive streaks in world athletics came to an abrupt end.
Ferguson-McKenzie had never failed to get out of the first round in her individual events in the previous four Olympics, and was the only athlete, male or female, to have ever made the final of both the 100m and 200m at three straight Olympics.
Unfortunately, it won't happen for a fourth straight Olympics in London. Ferguson-McKenzie, who is still recuperating from a bone bruise in her right ankle, said she is thankful and will now look forward to the 200m and the relay.
"As a competitor you always envision yourself on the podium, not just to make the final. Unfortunately that didn't happen this year," said the veteran sprinter in an interview.
"It was a fast heat, but not being able to train the way I wanted to because of the injury might have hampered me a bit. Being able to run 11.32 is a blessing though. I was in a boot, and now I ran an 11.32, so that in itself was a miracle for me. I never really thought about the injury - I just wanted to compete and do well and I'm thankful."
As for Ferguson, she's coming off an injury herself. Both sprinters sat out the BTC/Scotiabank Olympic Trials in New Providence in June because of nagging injuries - Ferguson-McKenzie with the bone bruise in her right ankle, and Ferguson with a sore right hamstring.
"Coming back from that hamstring injury, I was a bit nervous because this was the first time for me testing it out since May, but I'm happy with the time and I'm happy that I went out there and executed my race," said Ferguson.
"I didn't feel any pain and any tightness, so things could just get better from here."
Ferguson had the world champion in her heat in the person of American Carmelita Jeter but she said she wasn't discouraged at all. With her 10.64 lifetime best, Jeter is the second fastest woman ever over that distance, behind the late Florence Griffith-Joyner.
"She's unbelievable, but I wasn't worried. I got her in the first round at World Champs last year, so it wasn't anything new to me," said Ferguson.
"I just wanted to go out there and execute my race. It was good having her in the race, but I wasn't worried."
Jeter easily won that heat in 10.83 seconds and was the top qualifier for the semi-finals. Olga Bludova, from Kazakhstan, finished second in that heat in 11.31 seconds, and Ferguson rounded out the top three.
Jamaican Olympic Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce won the heat with Ferguson-McKenzie in 11 seconds flat. Semoy Hackett, from Trinidad and Tobago, was second in that heat in a personal best time of 11.04 seconds, and Olesya Povh, from the Ukraine, finished third in that heat in 11.18 seconds. Guzel Khubbieva, from Uzbekistan, was fourth in that heat in 11.22 seconds, and Ferguson-McKenzie finished fifth.
"Well, I definitely wasn't as aggressive as I would have liked," said Ferguson-McKenzie.
"I think if I had a better first 40 meters it would have worked out better for me, but it took me a while to get tall and to get going, and you can't do that in the 100 meters."
The top six qualifiers for the semi-finals all dipped below 11 seconds. Ferguson had the slowest qualifying time, and will run in the same semi-final heat as Fraser-Pryce, the bronze medalist from last year's World Championships Kelly-Ann Baptiste, from Trinidad and Tobago, and former three-time World Champion over 200m, American Allyson Felix. They will run in the second of three semi-finals. Ferguson will run out of lane two, and only the top two and the next two fastest times advance to the final.
At her inaugural Olympics in Beijing, China, four years ago, Ferguson advanced to the second round of the 200m, but failed to make the semi-finals. This is the first time that she has made the semi-finals of an individual event at the Olympic Games.
Nassau, Bahamas - "The sailing competition was extremely tough in Puerto Rico" explains
John Lawrence, President of the Bahamas Sailing Association and Team
The best sailors from sixteen Caribbean and Central American countries
gathered there to compete which is a record of participation to the CAC
Games never reached before in the sport of sailing.
"The wind conditions have had some very big shifts and the wind has
tended to drop out every day that we have raced." says Donico Brown who
sailed the Laser.
Indeed, the sailing conditions were particularly difficult for our
The Young Champions Boys Club, a youth arm of Bahamas Faith Ministries, is a school and community based organization designed to equip, train and motivate young men to become productive citizens of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
The club, in conjunction with the Five Star School of Karate under the leadership of Sensei Winston Penn, recently returned from the Four Seasons Martial Arts Tour, in Miami, Florida, where its members represented The Bahamas. Two of the young men, pictured, participated in the event gaining additional knowledge and training through seminars and competition.
Lavardo Handfield Jr., left, gave an outstanding performance with a second place finish in his division for Fighting and a third place finish in Kata. Malik Johnson, right, the second to compete, also gave a remarkable effort with a third place finish in Fighting and a fifth place finish in Kata.
The club wishes to thank all of the persons who sponsored the group and it looks forward to their continued support. The public is asked to stay tuned for more to come from this outstanding group of young men who continue to excel in the world of martial arts.
LONDON, England - Raymond Higgs might have the best jump in the world this year, albeit wind-aided, but his best on Friday night wasn't enough to get him into the Olympic final.
Higgs finished ninth in his group and 21st overall, with a best jump of 7.76 meters (m) - 25' 5-1/2". He said that he had some problems adjusting to the wind and couldn't get his marker in the right place.
"It was a good experience and a good opportunity for me, and I just thank God for getting here," he said in an interview.
"I'm disappointed but those things happen sometimes. It was difficult to get my mark set because the wind kept twirling. If the wind is blowing hard, you have to move your mark up and if it isn't blowing then you have to move it back.
"Today, it just kept twirling so I wasn't able to get in a good jump. It was very frustrating. I tried my best but it just didn't happen for me today."
Higgs scratched on his first jump, recorded his legal leap of 7.76m on his second attempt, and scratched his third and final jump. The automatic qualifying distance was 8.10m (26' 7"). Higgs has a personal best of 8.15m (26' 9") and a season's best of 8.07m (26' 5-3/4").
The 21-year-old athlete was jumping in his first Olympic Games. He got a taste of senior competition at last year's Daegu World Championships, but failed to make the final there and was looking to have a breakthrough performance at the 30th Olympic Games in London. However, it just wasn't to be.
"I think it all comes with experience," said Higgs.
"As a jumper, you have to know how the wind is blowing, get the mark and your approach right and just give it your all. I'll just have to try harder next time."
Mauro Vinicius da Silva, from Brazil, and American Marquise Goodwin were the only two jumpers who surpassed the automatic qualifying leap for the final. Both jumpers leapt 8.11m (26' 7-1/4"). Aleksandr Menkov, from Russia, had the third best qualifying leap, with a distance of 8.09m (26' 6-1/2").
Despite only recording a best of 7.76m on Friday night at Olympic Stadium, Higgs is one of the most versatile jumpers in Bahamian history. He is the only Bahamian to ever jump 26 feet in the long jump, 49 feet in the triple jump and over seven feet in the high jump.
The young star is looking forward to competing in many more senior meets for The Bahamas. He said that he definitely plans to be back on The Bahamas' Olympic team, and he has his sights set on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016.