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When one thinks of Bahamian athletes who have excelled in all three sprints in track and field, names like Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) President Mike Sands and International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF) Council member Pauline Davis-Thompson come to mind.
However, even they probably weren't able to do it like at the pace that is presently being produced by Grand Bahamian Michael Mathieu. In one short week, the new national record holder in the men's 200 meters (m) has either tied or set personal best times in all three sprints - the 100m, 200m and the 400m. He accomplished the latter yesterday, finishing first in the men's 400m at the fourth leg of the Brazilian Athletics Tour, in Uberlândia. Mathieu ran a stunning personal best time of 45.06 seconds to easily win the men's 400m, breaking the stadium record of 46.02 seconds.
It was his third victory in a week, as he took the 200m at the second leg of the Brazilian Athletics Tour, in Belem, last Sunday, and then followed that up with a first place finish in the men's 100m at the third leg of the Brazilian Athletics Tour, in Fortaleza, last Wednesday. Mathieu ran a national record setting time of 20.16 seconds in the 200m last Sunday, and tied a personal best time of 10.30 seconds in the 100m last Wednesday. His previous personal best in the 400m was 45.17 seconds, done at the Beijing Olympic Games four years ago, and his previous personal best in the 200m was 20.38 seconds.
As for his run in the 400m, it was the fastest time turned in by a Bahamian quartermiler this year. National record holder Chris Brown ran 45.14 seconds in the Cayman Islands last week, and just this past weekend, National Champion Demetrius Pinder galloped to a first place finish at the 6th Ponce Grand Prix, in Puerto Rico, in 45.15 seconds.
In Mathieu's race on Sunday, Brazilian Anderson Freitas Henriques was a distant second, in 45.74 seconds, and American Greg Nixon finished third, in 45.77 seconds. In Pinder's race, on Saturday, American Manteo Mitchell was second, in 45.28 seconds, and IAAF World Indoor Champion Nery Brenes, from Costa Rica, finished third, in 45.51 seconds.
Veteran Chandra Sturrup also competed in the Ponce Grand Prix, in Puerto Rico, on Saturday, and finished sixth in her heat of the women's 100m, and 12th overall, in 11.87 seconds.
Also competing this past weekend, at the first Samsung Diamond League Meet of the season, were high jumpers Trevor Barry and Donald Thomas. They finished tied for fifth in Doha, Qatar, on Friday, with identical leaps of 2.27m (7' 5-1/4"). Dimítrios Chondrokoúkis won that event with a leap of 2.32m (7' 7-1/4"), American World Champion Jesse Williams finished second with a best jump of 2.30m (7' 6-1/2"), and Mickael Hanany, from France, finished third with the same height as Williams. Samson Oni, from Great Britain, was fourth, clearing the same height as Barry and Thomas.
It may be true that no cell phone is perfect, but the handset world isn't taking too kindly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs' public assertion that other smartphones suffer from the same antenna and signal problems that have been widely reported regarding the iPhone 4.
And, in what's turned into an ugly back-and-forth PR mud fight, Apple is firing back by making its internal signal test results public to insist that it's not just pulling rivals' flaws out of thin air.
London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games
(LOCOG) transported the Olympic Flame to the UK from Greece for the
start of the Olympic Torch Relay - presented by Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB
Olympic Flame has arrive at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose in
Cornwall on board a chartered British Airways A319 aircraft, specially
named The Firefly, at approximately 19.25 BST.
With Steve Jobsí resignation today as CEO of Apple Inc., the man who changed the face of computing and then went on to repeat the performance with mobile leaves the field just when smartphones and tablets are beginning to turn the worlds of commerce, content, communication and marketing upside down.
With the country's most powerful sports body crying for help, as it relates to sending a 24-member team to the Olympics, one of The Bahamas' leading corporate citizens came to their aid with a hefty donation.
Telecommunications giant BTC has provided a $100,000 sponsorship to the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) to help defray the costs of this year's OIympic team. It was just over a month ago, when BOC Secretary General Romell 'Fish' Knowles revealed that their organization was in dire need of over $300,000 to fund this year's Olympic team. Well, they got a huge chunk yesterday, and can now go ahead with quite a few plans to get Team Bahamas to London. The 2012 Summer Olympic Games are set to commence Friday July 27 in London, England, and will run through Sunday, August 12.
"The reality is that the Olympic Games will cost us just under $400,000, so $100,000 will go a long way in lowering those expenses," said Knowles yesterday. "We are very appreciative of what BTC has done. What this does for us, is that now we can pay for some of the expenses that will be incurred with the training camp that will take place in London. We're not home yet, but this contribution today takes a lot of pressure off of us. It's a great relief to us in the Bahamas Olympic Committee and our team. The Olympic Games is the largest and biggest event in sports and I'm so elated that BTC recognizes that. I only wish that other corporate citizens, particularly government entities, will recognize that as well."
A number of Olympic
athletes will leave for the training camp in West Sussex, England, this week. Others will travel over the weekend and the remainder will depart on Monday. As for the $100,000 donation, BTC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Geoff Houston said that they looked at it as their corporate and social responsibility and will continue to contribute toward the youth development of this country in a meaningful and positive way.
"We are delighted to present a check for $100,000 to the Bahamas Olympic Committee for The Bahamas' participation in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London," said Houston. "Many of the athletes who have trained for this event have dreamed about being in the Olympics since childhood. They have spent years training physically and emotionally for what will be, for many, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete against the world's best in their sport.
"We at BTC want to ensure that the entire team, including coaches and medical personnel, have every advantage available so they are able to focus on bringing home the gold. Beyond performance, we want to applaud everyone involved for the team spirit, effort, discipline and determination to make it to this level. What we have been doing over the past 12-15 months is really try to cement our partnership with sports in the country. For sports fans like me and the rest of us here at BTC, this isn't really a difficult decision. This is something that we enjoy doing. This is the continuation of a major thing for us here at BTC. We wish the Olympic team the best and we are sure that they are going to give their best effort in London. We congratulate the team and wish everyone a healthy and successful Olympics."
BTC's corporate sponsorship of the BOC and Team Bahamas doesn't cease with the $100,000 donation toward the Olympic team. According to Houston, they intend to be a visible partner straight through until the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, offering as much as $20,000 per year for the next four years toward Olympic development.
"Our four-year partnership with BTC from now until the Brazil Olympics in 2016 makes BTC our top local sponsor in the Olympic movement, and so we are extremely appreciative of BTC's corporate and social responsibility in developing and molding young lives through sports," said Knowles.
BOC President Wellington Miller concurred:
"This is what can happen when two forward (thinking) people get together and have a constructive conversation. It can advance an important idea and advance an organization. I am speaking about our secretary general Romell Knowles and BTC Vice President of Marketing Marlon Johnson. This kind of gift from a corporate citizen makes it so much easier for the Bahamas Olympic Committee to do the proper planning for its athletes in national interest. We in the BOC are extremely proud and on behalf of all Bahamian Olympians, we thank BTC and look forward to both our organizations reaping great benefits from this tremendous gift."
Also yesterday, BTC was presented with a trophy from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognizing the telecommunications company for its contribution to "sports and sustainable development." Also, BTC pledged to spearhead a national campaign with focus on boosting team spirit and support for Team Bahamas for the Olympic Games.
"We are launching a three-week program to get Bahamians excited about supporting our team," explained Jerome Sawyer, BTC Senior Manager of Public Relations. "In connection with that, we will have a wide range of promotions. During the Olympics, we will have special rates for 'Talk It Up' so people can call internationally for extremely low rates. We'll be running ads for special promotions, keeping our facebook page lively and engaging the public in every way we can to support Team Bahamas."
As a special promotion, team managers will receive new Samsung phones, and Cable & Wireless Communications in London will host a special reception for The Bahamas' team, its officials and dignitaries.
"BTC's commitment to youth development, education and sports is unwavering," said Sawyer.
During the past year, BTC has donated $130,000 to the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) in support of CARIFTA, the Olympic Trials, and most recently, The Bahamas' team that traveled to the International Association of Athletic Federations' (IAAF) World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain, and now, they are providing another $100,000 for The Bahamas' 24-member Olympic team.
The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) is hoping for a boom in post-paid subscribers after the hotly anticipated launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III.
As part of a 145-nation release, Bahamians had a unique chance to purchase the smartphone in tandem with consumers in North America. The release sparked a buzz among Bahamians. By 6 a.m., a long queue had formed outside of the BTC's Bay Street location, as the first 50 consumers received a discount on the coveted device.
Gershan Major, vice president of channels and marketing, said the prompt release of the Galaxy S III in the Bahamian market represents an important precedent.
The company, he said, is more focused than ever on keeping up with the demands of modern consumers, and pushing new revenue streams that go along with the smartphone market.
"What we are finding now, is a number of our customers on pre-paid are seeing the value of post-paid. They are asking for the types of devices that engender a certain lifestyle," he explained. "Bahamians are moving towards an understanding that it's not just voice. It's data, email checking, scheduling, download photos, posting photos and social media. The lifestyle change is tied to the kinds of devices they are asking for."
Thus far, consumers are responding. Major said the first 50 devices sold out quickly, and the company expects the country's stock to dwindle.
The device has been hyped across the globe, from London to Zimbabwe, as Samsung rapidly emerges as a serious competitor to the iPhone. BTC is banking on this hype in its push to get more Bahamians on post-paid packages. The country's sole mobile service provider estimates that less than 50,000 Bahamians are on a plan and receiving a bill each month.
In this vein, data has been targeted as a strong area of revenue growth.
BTC has invested millions in the past year on updates to the network, including the introduction of 4G, in anticipation of this demand.
"We are doing a better job of improving our data offerings. They are getting more attune to 4G," Major added. "We've had some challenges improving the platform, but rest assured that experience will improve as we build up the capacity of the network."
Consumers will no doubt come to expect a functional level of service that properly matches the sophistication of the phones.
Altonique Saunders, Samsung expert at BTC, was on hand for the launch last weekend to help roll out the device.
She noted that, in the past, The Bahamas tends to be behind when it comes to the introduction of new technology. It's often the better part of a year by the time the country seizes the next big thing, Saunders explained.
"There was a very large crowd in the parking lot waiting for this phone, and we've had many more come in since then as well," she told Guardian Business.
While there are many features that make it special, Saunders highlighted its 8-megapixel camera. Not only does it have a "Super HD" function, but the camera has the ability to take 20 consecutive shots in just one or two seconds.
A camera can be found both in the front and back of the device. The front can actually track a user's eye movement, which ensures that the screen never goes dark or switches off while someone is looking at the phone.
The Galaxy SIII features a 4.8-inch screen that is 20 percent larger than its predecessors, she added, whereby it treads the trendy line between smartphone and tablet.
"The browser is faster and it moves seamlessly," she said.
A laundry list of other features and functionalities also set it apart. But for Saunders, she felt the natural feel of the Galaxy S III truly makes it unique.
"Even though it's much bigger, it fits well in your hand, and the surface is very smooth," she explained. "The phone is inspired by nature. The device is inspired by the natural curves or leaves and petals. When you feel the phone, it feels like you're touching a smooth pebble out of the sea."
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Rising young star Ryan Ingraham, quartermilers Shaunae Miller and Demetrius Pinder, along with veteran sprinter Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie all found themselves in a unique position on Saturday.
They all stood atop the medal podium as the most outstanding junior and senior male and female athletes at the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations' BTC National Championships at Grand Bahama Sports Complex.
For their efforts as the top junior male and female competitors, Ingraham and Miller were both awarded with the BTC's CEO award by Marlon Johnson and they collected a Samsung Tablet and a pl ...
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- BTC will host a blood drive in Freeport on Saturday, July 2nd, transforming the Bishop Michael Eldon High School Auditorium into a stage that mixes music and good deeds with good gets -- donors who give the gift of life will receive prizes, including phone cards from a minimum of $50 up to $100. A few will walk away with new Samsung phones or Blackberry devices.
"Of all the initiatives that we at BTC undertake in our community outreach, the annual blood drive is the single most important in my mind," said Marlon Johnson, Vice President Marketing and Sales. "It is the one thing we do that can save lives and truly make a difference between life and death."
In June, a similar blood drive in Nassau netted nearly 300 pints of blood to be shared among Princess Margaret Hospital, Doctors Hospital and the Bahamas Red Cross. Blood donated in Grand Bahama will go to The Rand Memorial Hospital which is partnering with BTC for the drive.
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Undeniably, the upgrade of our cellular network to 4G has been plagued with service disruptions causing much frustration. Dropped calls, delayed email and failed messenger services, aggravate both technology savvy and infrequent phone users.
But it is of immense importance that The Bahamas upgrades its network to 4G.
We must move past the political banter on the sale of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) to Cable and Wireless, accept its ownership and welcome the upgrade of technology. The transfer of new technology to The Bahamas improves our competitiveness.
Technology increasingly separates the developed and developing world; failure to keep up would severely limit our future growth potential. Our leaders must accept this and work with the private sector to integrate the latest technology with our aging infrastructure across all industries.
Bahamians are embracing telecommunication technology with vigor. The Samsung Galaxy S III launched over the weekend prompted a line of eager consumers in front of BTC's Bay Street store at 6 a.m. Armed with Blackberrys, Androids, iPhones, the new Galaxy S III, and other smartphones, Bahamians expect and demand access to the same level of service they find in the United States and Europe.
The smartphone is revolutionary and its power to integrate phone, data and location services has yet to be fully recognized here. But the revolution will come. And those unable to adapt will be left fighting for business in a digital world.
Take for example Uber, a taxi service predominately in the United States that allows customers to locate, call and pay for a taxi through an app. In fact, a customer merely opens the app, the closest taxi is located, the driver notified and the passenger watches the taxi approach on the smartphone. No call ever needs to made, no money exchanged and the entire ride is recorded on a smartphone with a credit card receipt emailed.
Uber is responding to the failure in large North American cities for taxis to maintain the level of anticipated service. Uber offers passengers a precise cab location, a safe and recorded ride and ease of payment.
Could Uber come to Nassau? Probably not, though taxis should take note that the app demonstrates the ability for technology to adapt and confront an entire service sector.
Apps have moved past mere entertainment to integrate with services outside the realm of a computer. The Nassau Guardian is moving forward to embrace digital media to allow our listeners seamless access to news and radio via our broadcast divisions.
We look forward to the full launch of 4G and the future potential of smartphone application in The Bahamas and all the change that will result.