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Young female volleyball players continue to train, despite not knowing when they will compete in the Junior Caribbean Volleyball Championships (JCVC).
The biennial volleyball tournament caters to national teams from around the region. It was postponed because no country under the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association's (CAZOVA) umbrella agreed to host the female championships. The junior men's tournament was held in Jamaica, July 21-28. The Bahamas placed sixth overall.
Executives in the governing body for the sport in the country, the Bahamas Volleyball Federation (BVF) encouraged the squad to continue training, stating that a window of opportunity is still there.
"I heard from the CAZOVA president, who told me that hosting is a problem, because of the economic downturn worldwide," said Joseph Smith, first vice president in the federation. "A lot of countries are bowing out.
They just can't sustain it, financially.
"The original host was Jamaica. They turned around and said they couldn't do both, and was opting out of both, but they went to their government and was able to host one. They are still in the process of trying to find a host for the women. But no country has stepped forward as yet, because these tournaments are becoming very expensive. But there is a window, from this date to January."
If the championship is canceled, the BVF plans to send the squad to several tournaments. Smith said it is the plan to keep the girls together, even though they are not affected directly. He said that the junior program is in a rebuilding stage ever since the age was changed.
He added: "Not going doesn't mean that they won't be going anywhere. I am still working with Jason and, hopefully, they can get a tournament in before the end of the year. (It's) at least a yardstick to see where they are at.
"When you are rebuilding, it will take you about two or three years to do so successfully. You don't have that leeway in the juniors like that, because they are constantly changing the age. So every time they drop the age, the junior athletes become inactive when they become 18 years old. That is more detrimental to the sport than traveling. I will say the age change hurt us more because you have to continue to rebuild."
Training sessions for the female team is held at the DW Davis gymnasium, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays. The developmental program is headed by Jason Saunders, who is assisted by Shedrick Forbes and Kurtwood Green Sr.
The various associations under the Bahamas Basketball Federation's (BBF) umbrella will now have the responsibilities of hosting sanctioned international basketball tournaments, revealed President Lawrence Hepburn. Relinquishing the responsibilities should allow the federation's executive members to focus more on providing coaches and players with more opportunities, which Hepburn believes will improve the level of local and international play.
The Grand?Bahama Basketball Association (GBBA) will be the first to host a sanctioned tournament. The 8th Annual Junkanoo Jam will be held November 25-29 in Freeport, Grand Bahama. Eight teams from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ...
An official date has been set for the second round of the regional beach volleyball tournament, leaving the country's four-man squad with less than two months to train.
The team of Muller Petit, Renaldo Knowles, Byron Ferguson and Prince Wilson, waited a year for the executives of the North, Central American and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) to release the dates for the Sub Zonal Olympic Beach Volleyball Tournament. They were hoping to get word earlier in the year so that they can better prepare themselves for the sizzling sands event, which is a qualifier for the 2012 Olympic Games. The December 4-5 hosting was confirmed by 1st vice president in the Bahamas Volleyball Federation (BVF) Joseph Smith over the weekend. It was welcoming news for Head Coach DeVince Smith, who noted that the team members are now in season and should be in tip-top shape for the event which will be held in the Cayman Islands.
"We've been waiting on them to release the dates of the tournament for a while now," said Smith. "We are happy that a date and venue has been confirmed. The guys are eager and ready to play. I am not sure if the players have heard the great news as yet, but I am sure that when they do they will be ecstatic."
Petit and Knowles represented The Bahamas as Team 'A' and Ferguson and Wilson was Team 'B', in the preliminary round. Even though the teams are divided into two, the points accumulated are tallied as one.
The Bahamas, which was ranked fifth in men's play, defeated the fourth seeded Barbados squad of Elwyn Oxley, Winston Gittens, Hughly Sealy and Jamaal Nedd, to move onto the finals. Oxley and Gittens were Team 'A' while Sealy and Nedd represented Team 'B' for Barbados. In the finals of the preliminary round, The Bahamas met up with Trinidad and Tobago, the host, defeating them for top honors.
Smith said: "I believe that the players are going to be very strong because the New Providence Volleyball Association (NPVA) is currently going on. I think that they will be able to make the adjustments very quickly from the hard court to the sands. They did it last year and the results were positive. As far as training is concerned, I don't have an official date as yet. I intend to meet up with the players first, have a meeting to discuss and decide on a training schedule."
The female squad of Laval Sands and Tia Wilson did not qualify for the second round. As a team, they finished fifth.
The official dates brings hope to the junior national female team, who are still awaiting word for the regional tournament, in their age division. No host or date has been set as yet. The team was supposed to travel to compete this summer but their segment of the regional tournament was postponed. The junior male squad competed and placed fifth. That championship was held in Jamaica.
WITH the aim of remaining on the "cutting edge" of new developments in their profession, members of Nurses Association of the Commonwealth Bahamas (NACB) participated in the two-day international Nurses Leadership workshop this week.
More than 100 nurses attended the workshop, which started on Thursday and is being hosted by the NACB as part of its 63rd annual conference and in conjunction with the Commonwealth Nurses Federation (CNF), of which the Bahamas is a member.
Founded in 1973, the Commonwealth Nurses Federation comprises national nursing and midwifery associations in Commonwealth countries such as the Bahamas.
The CNF's objectives are to influence health policy throughout t ...
The situation in the New Providence Softball Association (NPSA) and by extension, the parent body of the sport, is unsettling to say the least. A recent court decision clouded the postseason picture within the Bahamas Softball Federation (BSF).
A men's championship team was declared in the NPSA but due to the court order, the champs (Dorin United Hit-Men) were denied participation in the BSF national championships.
Without a doubt, the achilles heel in the federation is the NPSA. The commissioner in the NPSA is Tommy Stubbs, an individual rooted in sports, particularly softball and baseball. He is a good fit in the top disciplinary position in the NPSA. But, it's a struggle for him, given ...
Grand Bahama Amateur Boxing Association (GBABA) President Terry Goldsmith was insightful in presenting his perspective of the way forward for boxing in the country, with an emphasis on the amateur program.
The occasion was the conclave held Saturday, February 26, by the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas (ABFB).
Goldsmith, who is also a vice president of the federation, was strong on the need for proper official documentation at every step of the way now in this new high-profile Olympic style era, and he also emphasized the need for a great increase in tournaments and club meets.
A product of the British system as a standout amateur boxer and subsequently a referee and judge, Goldsmith is well q ...
The formation of the regional Anti-Doping Committee, for bodybuilding and fitness, is timely said president of the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) Danny Sumner. He said that more and more is now being done regarding the cleanliness of the sport.
The new board was set up at the 39th hosting of the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships that were staged in El Salvador from September 23-26. Dr. Cyprian Strachan was elected to the executive board where he will represent The Bahamas. His nomination was backed by Sumner, who thanked him for accepting the prestigious honor.
"This is a big thing for bodybuilding," said Sumner. "The Bahamas always has representatives on the various boards at the regional level, so having Dr. Strachan be a part of this and representing the country and the sport is good. He is very familiar with sports rules and regulations. Dr. Strachan has served as medical doctor for numerous track and field teams, as well as other sports.
"I personally want to welcome him, on behalf of the federation. I am sure that he will do his best to assist in cleaning up the sport and making sure our athletes follow the guidelines. Nowadays, there are a lot of products out there to enhance your performance. I try to keep our athletes away from that, but with him on board I am sure we will continue to be clean."
Dr. Strachan will be one of many medical advisors on the CAC committee. He was unavailable for comment yesterday, but in an earlier interview, he stated: "I am grateful, pleased and humble to be able to assist the sporting community in whatever capacity or way that I can. I was approached about three months ago, just before they hosted the nationals, with the idea. There are numerous persons who have assisted and who have gone before me, so just being able to give my services is satisfying. I love sports and have a passion for it. This is the best way we can level the playing field for everyone, so I think it is a good idea. There are also certain health aspects that people need to concern themselves with. I believe if they know all the side effects that are involved then they will be discouraged."
THE Bahamas Baseball Federation, headed by president Craig 'Salty' Kemp, expressed its deepest sympathy to the family of the late umpire Philip Kemp.
Known as 'Umpire Kempie,' Kemp was a member of the Junior Baseball League of Nassau (JBLN) Umpiring Crew and a member of the umpire crew that officiated at the BBF's National Baseball Championships which was hosted in New Providence.
BBF AGM RESCHEDULED
THE Bahamas Baseball Federation has announced that its annual general meeting and election of officers that was scheduled for Saturday, November 5, has been postponed until Saturday, November 12 in the boardr ...
I just don't get it. Our political leaders (all of them) continue to miss the boat when it comes to recognizing the true importance of sports to this country and act accordingly.
It is so obvious that the only way the criminal element in this country will be pushed back is if the national sports program is expanded to gobble up the vast majority of the young boys and girls who go astray because of having no positive sense of direction. The national sports program is a great option for our little boys and girls and the older ones as well.
The Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium was bursting at the seams with people on Saturday past. There was the big question bandied around about whether the stadium would ever be seated to capacity. Well, we got our answer.
Let's be clear about the situation. On Saturday, the overwhelming support was not about politics. The politicians were neutralized on Saturday even though they came out in big numbers. The response from the crowd to the names of Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie was subdued and similar. No, it was not about them.
Yet, the ongoing comments from that arena prove that the politicizing never stops. The real teaching moment from the event was about sports. Only sports can get all Bahamians, from every persuasion together. Hypocrisy appears to be a constant among our politicians when dealing with sports in particular.
They soak up the opportunities to grandstand on forums created by the awesome collective ability within the Bahamian sports fraternity. They boast and praise the athletes, administrators, coaches and trainers to the highest. Still, against that backdrop, just the financial crumbs from the National Budget table fall off to the national sports program. I invite readers to compare the allocations for health, education and tourism to that of sports. By no means do I wish to dilute the significance and importance of prime health care, high-level educational opportunities and tourism vibrancy to the stable existence of our people. It's been proven over and over again though that the national sports program deserves to be right up there in that top category of budget allocations.
Young boys and girls are dying by way of crime. The lives of others are been snuffed out almost daily, by the young among us. The role models of more and more of our young are not Tommy Robinson, Andre Rodgers, Sir Durward Knowles, Cynthia Moxey-Pratt, Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, Chris Brown, Mark Knowles, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Devard Darling, Mychal Thompson, Gomeo Brennan, Glen Griffin, Carl Minns or the many others of that ilk.
Today, the role models who too many of our young seek to emulate, are the crime merchants. It is because the system has changed to enable those who promote crime to be in closer contact with our young. The burden on the sporting administrators, coaches, trainers and other mentors is too great because of the numbers that need attention and the meager funds to go around. Many sports mentors spend personal funds, just to provide meaningful opportunities for sporting growth.
I have personal knowledge of this. The biggest reason for my resignation as president of the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas (ABFB) way back in 1976 was because my children were getting bigger and more expensive. I no longer was able to afford helping to pay some of the costs for those monthly trips to the Florida Golden Gloves, and other friendly competitions against Bermuda and Canada.
Grants for federations and the National Subvention Program were decades beyond the horizon then. Now, thanks to the central administration, grants and subventions are commonplace. The funding for the subvention program is fine. The grants must be adjusted greatly. The core sports group needs $300,000 at least per year and the smaller sports programs around $200,000.
An essential body like the Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission (BADC) should be given $500,000 yearly, because of the huge area mandated by the law. If this happens, crime would not be eliminated but there will be a huge dent in the activities of the criminally inclined. The sporting programs would then be in position to inculcate our wayward youth and those who are apt to be directed to the wrong paths in life.
It was indeed a teaching moment about sports on Saturday, February 25 at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. I wonder just how many learned the lesson taught. I'm sure the man whose name the national stadium bears, got the message. He's been a part of the message for many years. Maybe in his own way now, he will be able, somehow, to educate the politicians about the true value of sports.
Thomas Augustus Robinson no doubt was aware of the teaching moment. Congratulations Tommy for the honor bestowed upon you.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com)
Two years ago, a sporting milestone was achieved in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. With the Grand Bahama American Football program as the catalyst, an under-19 team represented the nation at an International Federation of American Football (IFAF) regional tournament in Panama.
The association with the IFAF was a significant step and paved the way for the sport to get the kind of world prominence it had not gotten before. American LaLisa Anthony spearheaded the American Football program in Grand Bahama and still holds the position of president of the Bahamas American Football Federation (BAFF).
However, Stanford Duhaney is now the football maestro in the island. He heads the Bahamas Youth Football (BYF) organization as the commissioner and is in charge also of Flag Football in Grand Bahama. Anthony is no longer based in Freeport so it falls also to Duhaney to be the prime mover locally for the BAFF.
The man has a plate that is quite full and should be given the maximum support. As in other sports disciplines, the raw talent is certainly in Grand Bahama for American Football. Some of the momentum has been lost but the enthusiasm is still strong for American Football in Grand Bahama.
Flag football has proven to be an extremely exciting dimension to the sports picture. A major BAFF affair is planned for early in 2012. The BYF new season is due to start, on October 29, and Duhaney is set to go.
"Yes, I'm encouraged. We had a bit of a general lull when some of our support fell off, but I'm convinced that we are back on track. I can say that Youth Football in the island is still surviving and I really look forward to a vibrant season. There are six teams made up from some 200 athletes who are in the program and the future really looks bright. You know the kids today have the physical size. They are excited and want to play. We have the connection to provide the equipment for them. The season is going to be exciting.
"I see signs of the support coming back and this is good. There is great potential for advancement in American Football in Grand Bahama. We have the numbers. The interest is certainly there among the young lads and once we get the support, the sky is the limit for us. There is one thing we have to do. We have to make sure that we become sound in fundamentals and technical. I can't emphasize more just how important it is for the kids to be properly taught the game," said Duhaney.
There are indeed so many skill items that need to be addressed, digested and passed on to the youngsters for them to be able to compete favorably against their peers in the region and the wider world jurisdiction of the IFAF. It is a big undertaking for Duhaney. Grand Bahama should rally around him. The noble venture of developing the youth of our nation ought to be appreciated by all.
(This series will continue tomorrow. To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org)
THE North Carolina Tar Heels closed out their second trip to the Bahamas with another unbeaten exhibition series on Thursday night at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.
Coming off their 130-87 rout over the Bahamas Basketball Federation's national champions Commonwealth Bank Giants on Wednesday night, the Tar Heels prevailed with a 123-86 decision over the Bahamas All-Star team.
It was the second night of the federation's Summer of Thunder College Scrimmages, featuring a number of visiting collegiate teams against locally based teams.
North Carolina's legendary coach Roy Williams said they definitely played much better in the second half as they made the adjustment to the style of play by ...
The upcoming Pan American Games will be a standard of measurement for Bahamian athletics like never before in our history. This will be a great opportunity for Bahamians to evaluate some of our athletes in particular and our elite sports programs in general.
Guadalajara, Mexico will be the host city for the 16th Pan Am Games and there are big question marks for the most successful program, the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations.
Trevor Barry saved the day for this country's image with his high jump bronze medal at the recent International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. We needed to be consistent in winning at least one medal at the IAAF World Championships (Indoor and Outdoor).
He enabled us to maintain an important level of achievement.
The BAAA must now however do some soul searching about the disaster decision that led to this country not advancing in an event, it is widely considered to be second best in the world, the men's 1,600 meters relay. No amount of excuses for the decision will change the big picture.
On one of the greatest track and field stages, veteran BAAA coaches participated in a decision process that allowed three of the slowest (this season thus far) quarter-mile runners to carry the Bahamian baton in the first round. It was a ridiculous choice and one that saw this nation pay dearly.
It's now about the elite track and field athletes regaining confidence in their coaches again. It was clear, given the comments of some of the athletes, that they were not comfortable with the decision. Will this lack of confidence carry over into Guadalajara?
This is the great challenge for the BAAA. This nation needs a big rebound in track and field at the Guadalajara Pan Am Games to set the stage for the London 2012 Olympics. The Bahamas has qualified for the Pan American Games also in boxing, swimming and tennis.
In boxing, Valentino Knowles qualified in the light welterweight (64 kg.) division; Marvin Rolle has drawn a wildcard in tennis; and the swimming team will be led by freestyle sprint specialist Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace.
We hope for the best in tennis. There should be no overwhelming expectations. There should be satisfaction just in being able to qualify. At this stage, that's good for Bahamian tennis. The Bahamas Swimming Federation (BSF), once it sends a team, will perform true to form.
Like track and field though, boxing will be under the microscope in Guadalajara. Knowles, a brilliant boxer, has been right on the bubble for most of his career. From he was a mere 13-years-old, Knowles was demonstrating excellent natural skills. He is at a point now whereby he can handle himself in the ring against the best of the best.
He has won a match at a World Championships (the only Bahamian to do so); he has won a Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games gold medal; he has captured Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Boxing Championships medals and he is ranked within the top 25 in the Americas.
It is my view though that Knowles is an underachiever. I believe he needs to be motivated. The obligation to do so, belongs to his team. The IAAF World Championships in Daegu showed the nation how important it is for quality coaching to be in the mix in order for the best achievements to result.
National Coach Andre Seymour has to pay a lot of attention to getting Knowles mentally charged for every bout. Knowles has the ability to medal in Guadalajara and accordingly qualify for London 2012. Can the coach get the best out of him?
That's the question and one of the reasons, the upcoming Pan American Games will be such a gauge for elite sports in The Bahamas.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com)
In the Prime Minister's address on crime, he invited the populace to increase the level of volunteerism, something he felt would reduce the crime level. People from many sectors in The Bahamas have been and continue to be involved in volunteerism.
You name it - Rotary, Kiwanis, fraternities, the church, Yellowbirds, The Cancer Society, etc. Much has been done and continues to be done by volunteers in The Bahamas. There is however a whole body of volunteerism which has not gone unnoticed. We are speaking about the sporting community which strives on volunteers.
At the closing ceremony of this summer's IAAF World Championships numerous volunteers were at center stage on the field. We often forget how many volunteers are needed to pull off a national, regional, or international competition, much less to carry on a continual program of bringing athletes from the introduction to a sport, to them becoming world champions. Today we salute those unsung heroes who have made a difference in sports in The Bahamas.
The School System
It is said that most things are learned in school. Most athletes have been introduced to sports through their schools. From the track and field perspective we single out Andrea Lockhart of Oakes Field Primary who was instrumental in the start of Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie in track and field. About 55 years ago, Dr. John Carey was instrumental in the athletic start of former Member of Parliament and Olympian Leslie Miller at Eastern Junior School.
Numerous world class athletes can trace their humble beginnings to somebody in the school system that recognized their talent and encouraged them to pursue sports further.
Bahamas Association of Certified Officials (BACO)
Andrea Lockhart became a member of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Officials (BACO) of which Deacon Leviticus Adderley was a driving force. This organization is now headed by Ralf McKinney and assists numerous groups in staging road races throughout The Bahamas, in addition to their regular obligation of officiating at all Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations events as well as numerous other organization's events.
The Club System
There are the numerous clubs throughout the country through which athletes are guided and hone their competitive skills. No athletes who won medals for The Bahamas this year, or any previous year, could do it without the guidance of somebody in a school or club.
In the early years of track and field clubs like St. Bernards, The Southerners, St. George's followed by the Pioneers' Sporting Club, The Ambassadors, and The Bain Town Flyers, to name only a few, made a significant impact on the sporting and cultural life of The Bahamas. Some of the coaches like Henry Crawford, Charlie Wright, and D'ynza Burrows were legendary and contributed to the development of numerous national and international level athletes.
Volunteerism was the 'name of the game' with them. Fast forward to today where there are about 20 track and field clubs in The Bahamas which monitor the progress of our upcoming athletes. Many of them hold their own track and field meets which are heavily subscribed by athletes. Each of these clubs have numerous volunteers who give of their time, and occasionally resources, to ensure the success of the athletes.
Parents are a significant factor in the success of numerous athletes and clubs. Sometimes they act as just transportation to practice and sometimes they are a significant part of the clubs, whether they are coaches or part of the organizational structure. There are numerous parents throughout The Commonwealth of The Bahamas who give yeoman service to the sport.
The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA)
This is the organization given the mandate by the international body, the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF), to develop and promote Road Running, Cross Country, Mountain Running, and track and field throughout The Bahamas. The BAAA will celebrate its' 60th anniversary on May 6, 2012. The organization's initial membership included president Alfred Francis Adderley, Cyril Richardson, Joseph Garfunkle, Edward Mitchell, Reginald Farrington, Fred Moultrie, Reginald Robertson, Kendal Isaacs, Cecil V. Bethel, Gerald Cash, Randol Fawkes, and Orville Turnquest.
The presidents who succeeded Adderley were Cyril Richardson, Harold Munnings, Paul Adderley, Levi Gibson, Sir Arlington Butler, Reverend Enoch Backford, Winston Cooper, Dr. Bernard Nottage, Alpheus Finlayson, Foster Dorsett, Desmond Bannister, Mike Sands and Curt Hollingsworth (Interim).
From its inception, the organization has been defined by volunteers who have worked untiringly to make it one of the premier sports federations in the country and in the region. As the BAAA moves into its' 60th anniversary and London Olympics year, it is imperative that more volunteers, in addition to the elected members are needed to fulfill its mandate. The volunteers can be to the local clubs or the BAAA.
We have members of BACO who have officiated in regional and area competitions and look forward to an increase in the number of members of BACO and hope that one day soon, one of its members will soon qualify to officiate in the World Championships and Olympic Games. Funding is a critical area so persons who adept at those skills are in high demand. Then there are those who are adept at organization. They are needed in every organization.
The BAAA has had athletes win Olympic and World Championships gold medals and coaches who coached at the highest levels. We have had two Bahamians, Alpheus Finlayson and Pauline Davis-Thompson, who have been elected to the Council of the IAAF, the world's governing body of track and field. In the process, the organization has been influential in the lives of many young persons, in and outside the inner city, who would have been left by the wayside and may have pursued a life of crime otherwise.
Next year will be a significant year for Bahamian track and field. Volunteers are definitely needed for the organization to do what we all know is possible. If you have some extra time or are looking forward to a rewarding experience, please call the BAAA office at 325 4433 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOCAL gymnastics enthusiasts will receive a major opportunity to develop their craft as a master instructor will be in town to train and certify coaches in the capital.
A technical training course for current and perspective gymnastics coaches will be held September 12 - 19, 2011 at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, the Gymnastics Federation of the Bahamas (GFB) announced yesterday.
The week-long course is being held courtesy of grants by the Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) and the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC).
Participants will earn an FIG qualifying certificate.
Their is a fee and no prior experience is necessary to enroll in the course.
"We are thrilled to ...
The Bahamas Sports Authority has been officially operating since the beginning of this month. The authority started off under the gun and the pressure is not going to lessen anytime soon.
The field at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium will prove to be a huge hurdle the authority has to clear. Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard appears inclined to let the Sports Authority do its job without interference. When the general election dust clears, if Maynard is still in place, there will no doubt be continuity in how he deals with the all important sports body.
If someone else ends up in the sports minister's seat, hopefully there will be full recognition that the best way ahead is to ensure that those who coordinate the Sports Authority can do so comfortably.
Whatever the case though, the embryonic period for the Sports Authority is going to be incredibly challenging and the road beyond looks equally daunting. It's a brutal portfolio that the authority has been saddled with. All the government facilities are under the jurisdiction of the authority. The accumulation of demanding situations will be awesome. Today, I just want to focus on the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
The field that is the anchor section of the facility is not a good one. Minister Maynard recently made the frank admission that while the field looks good from afar, close-up you easily notice the bad patches and the infestation of ants.
There is another problem. Some of the watering apparatuses have been installed inside of the playing area. Yes, right where players will be running at full steam, there is a covered spigot. It's dangerous and by no means, will the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) qualify the field as is.
The truth be told, more than cosmetic work needs to be done to bring the field up to FIFA standard. Infrastructural work is necessary. The cost will be prohibitive. It's looking more and more like the powers-that-be should decide to go for broke one time and install synthetic turf. Sure, there is the initial turf installation cost, but for the long run, that's the way to go. Even if the field, as it currently is, can be fixed to the satisfaction of FIFA, the ongoing servicing will be constantly problematic.
Right out of the blocks this is the staggering challenge that confronts the Sports Authority. Multiply that with the labor and maintenance needs of the National Stadium and the other facilities; having to deal on a day-to-day basis with the federations that use the areas for competition, and one gets a very clear picture of what the authority is up against.
This is why I've suggested in this space that Chairman Leroy Archer and Deputy Chairman Anton Sealey must have free reins. They need to be able to function independently, despite the portions of the Sports Act that refer to the sports minister. The great workload they have been mandated to handle is challenging enough.
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
WITH the ladies championship series completed and the men smack in the middle of their series, the Bahamas Basketball Federation is eagerly looking ahead to the hosting of the National Round Robin Championship series.
Federation president Lawrence Hepburn confirmed that the championships will take place over the Easter holiday weekend at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.
Confirmed so far to participate in the men's division are Grand Bahama, New Providence, Eleuthera and Abaco. It's not certain whether or not Bimini will be sending a team as they are expected to be in their Homecoming Celebrations.
On the ladies' si ...
The men's national softball team will have an extra week to prepare for the regional softball qualifiers, set to take place in Mexico.
The November 18-27 tournament, which is being used as a qualifier for the World Softball Championships, will now be held November 24-December 4. It was said, by the men's national head coach Godfrey Burnside, that the new date was confirmed last week, by the Pan American Softball Confederation (CONPASA) at the Pan American Games that is currently going on in Guadalajara, Mexico. The venue and number of teams competing remains, the only change was in the date.
Even though Burnside said the date will not affect the team, which continues to train three times a week, there are still some challenges faced.
"We are having some challenges because of the weather and the NPSA (New Providence Softball Association) play-offs,"said Burnside."We will probably be in a better state after the round-robin tournament. That will give us about two or three weeks before we leave to prepare.
"We have a lot of players who are still in a competitive mode. As a matter of fact, several of the players on the national team are vying for the championship's title. There are about five or six different players, playing in the NPSA championships. Most of the guys will be in from the Family Islands, by the start of the round-robin. We expect to have a full team practice a day or two before the round-robin ends. We will have an opportunity to play in the round-robin, but not everyone will participate in it. The national team will play an all-star team during this time.
"We will play about two or three games. So for the most part everything is going well."
The national team was named about two months ago. The well-rounded team includes five pitchers, and an aggressive field of players that can adjust based on the game situation faced. Veteran Edney 'The Heat' Bethel will lead the way from the pitcher's mound. Alcott Forbes, Eugene Pratt, Fred Cornish and Thomas Davis will all have an opportunity to 'bring the heat'. Jamal Johnson and Angelo Dillette will rotate as catchers.
Playing in the infield are Greg Gardiner, Desmond Bannister, Marvin Wood, Ken Wood and Larry Russell Jr. The roster will also include Martin Burrows Jr., Lance Watkins, Sherman Ferguson, Van Johnson and Godfrey Burnside Jr.
The Bahamas will open up the tournament against Guatemala, on November 26. Other countries participating are Canada, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Columbia.
The Bahamas Softball Federation (BSF) ^will host their annual National Round-Robin November 3-6, at the Baillou Hills Sporting Field. This year's championships will be held in honor of Sonny Have and Ernestine Butler-Stubbs. Some six male teams will compete for the overall crown and seven on the women's side.
JR TEAM OFF
* THE Bahamas Cycling Federation will have a five-member team in Miami, Florida competing in a two-day meet to help groom them for future international meets.
The team is comprised of Roy Colebrooke Jr., Anthony 'Biggie' Colebrooke, Antinece Simmons, Justin Minns and Petron Lightbourne.
Federation president Roy Colebrooke and New Providence Cycling Association's president Barron 'Turbo' Musgrove will travel as the manager and coach.
BAHAMAS FAILED TO QUALIFY
* THE Bahamas men's national cricket team failed to qualify for the playoffs at the International Cricket Council Division II Tournament that was played in Surinam.
After posting a 2-1 ...
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
HAVING abandoned her quest to secure her professional card through the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, Dawnita Jones-Fry has decided to pursue it through the World Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation.
This weekend, she will be competing in her second show in the Canada based WBFF when they launch their initial campaign in the United States at the Fitness Atlantic Championships at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut.
Jones-Fry, who leaves town on Thursday for Saturday's competition, said she's eager to get on the stage for her first show for the year and the first for the WBFF that is headed b ...
By RENALDO DORSETT
PREPARATIONS are underway as the local governing body for softball gears up for the climax of the Bahamas Softball Federation season.
The BSF National Round Robin is scheduled to return to New Providence November 3-6 for the preliminary round with the championship set for Andros the following weekend.
The round robin will be named in honour of Sonny Haven and Ernestine Butler while the championships will honour Brian Clear and Dora Evans.
The 2011 edition is expected to have the largest fields ever in the history of the Bahamas Softball Federation National Round Robin.
The BSF is set to hold its annual national championship ...
After blasting the junior national record in the heats, the boys 4x400 meters (m) relay team of Henri Delauze, Janeko Cartwright, Steven Gardiner and Kinard Rolle, in that order, had to settle for sixth in the final, ending an IAAF World Junior Championships meet in which The Bahamas won no medals for the first time since 2006.
The country still finished tied for 55th overall, with South Africa, among 175 member federations of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The United States of America (USA) won the biennial meet on its home soil, with 206 points, Kenya was second with 124 points, and Germany rounded out the top three nations with 87 points. Cuba was the top Caribbean country, finishing ninth with 57 points. The Bahamas finished with just three points courtesy of the sixth place finish by the boys' 4x400m relay team.
In the medal strandings, the U.S. once again came out on top, winning 21 total medals - 11 gold, five silver and five bronze. Kenya was second with four, five and seven for 16 total medals; Ethiopia finished third in the medal standings with six total medals - three gold and three silver.
The boys' 4x400m, one of the marquee events for The Bahamas over the years, brought the curtain down on the six-day meet in Eugene, Oregon, marking the first time the meet was held in the United States.
The Bahamas' quartet of Delauze, Cartwright, Gardiner and Rolle ran 3:07.03 in the heats to qualify for the final with the fourth fastest time, but could only muster a time of 3:08.08 in the final for sixth place. The former junior national record was 3:08.56, ran by the team of Demetrius Pinder, Juan Lewis, Carlyle Thompson and Jameson Strachan, at the 2006 CARIFTA Games.
As for the race yesterday, after a strong opening leg by Delauze and a good curve by Cartwright, The Bahamas actually held the lead on the back stretch of the second leg. However, Cartwright appeared to get boxed in coming off the second curve, stumbled, and never recovered. He faded on the home stretch, and The Bahamas was taken out of contention. Gardiner tried to bring the team back, but the top three of the U.S., Jamaica and Japan were already too far ahead. He and Rolle failed to make up any ground, and The Bahamas faded to sixth.
Individually over the weekend, Devynne Charlton, a CARIFTA Games icon for The Bahamas, ran the best she's ever ran in the short hurdles. Charlton appears to be back to top form, but her stunning time of 13.36 seconds won't go down as a junior national record because of a strong tailwind. She finished fourth in her 100m hurdles semi-final heat behind a 3.1mps (meters per second) tailwind. More importantly, she just missed qualifying for the final at the world's top meet for junior track and field athletes. Charlton was just a hundredth of a second off the final qualifying spot, finishing ninth overall. French athlete Elisa Girard-Mondoloni secured the final qualifying spot, in 13.35 seconds.
Be that as it may, Charlton was still the highest individual finisher for The Bahamas at this year's world juniors.
In the heats on Friday, Charlton matched her personal best time of 13.56 seconds, tying for the eighth fastest heading into the semis. She took it up a notch further in the semis, and just barely becoming the only Bahamian at the world juniors this year to qualify for an individual event final. The junior national record in the event is 13.51 seconds, done by Krystal Bodie at the Scotiabank Olympic Trials six years ago. With the proper wind conditions on Saturday, Charlton could have very well erased that record.
American Kendell Williams went on to won the gold medal in the event on Sunday, blazing to a new championships record time of 12.89 seconds in the final. It was a 1-2 American sweep in the event, as Dior Hall took the silver, in a personal best time of 12.92 seconds, and Nadine Visser, of The Netherlands, was third in a national junior record of 12.99 seconds.
The girls 4x100m relay team qualified for the final, but experienced problems in the final, particularly on the exchange between the third and anchor legs. The Bahamas' team of Carmiesha Cox, Jenae Ambrose, Brianne Bethel and Keianna Albury, in that order, ran 45.22 seconds to qualify for the final with the seventh fastest. With Charlton inserted into the line-up for Ambrose in the final, the team crossed the finish line in seventh place, in 45.83 seconds, but was disqualified for passing the baton outside of the exchange zone. The mishap appeared to occur on the third and fourth legs, with Bethel handing off to Albury. The Bahamas has the fastest reaction time in the field, with Charlton getting off to a blazing start. However, the quartet just didn't have the foot speed of the others teams in the race.
The USA won the gold medal, in a world junior-leading time of 43.46 seconds, Jamaica was second, in 43.97 seconds, and Germany took the bronze, in 44.65 seconds. The Bahamas' national junior record in the event is 33.42 seconds, done by the team of V'Alonee Robinson, Sheniqua Ferguson, Tia Tolle and Nivea Smith at the World Junior Championships in 2008 in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
The boys 4x100m relay team didn't make it out of the first round. The team of Keanu Pennerman, Cliff Resias, Deedro Clarke and Javan Martin, in that order, experienced some problems on the exchange from Pennerman to Resias which hampered their progress. They still went on to finish third in their heat, in 40.45 seconds, just missing out on one of the automatic qualifying spots for the final. Jamaica won that heat in 39.86 seconds, Trinidad & Tobago finished second in 40.32 seconds, and The Bahamas completed the Caribbean sweep in that heat with their third place finish. Only the top two teams and the next two fastest times moved on to the final though. The Bahamas ended up ninth overall, just on the outside looking in.
The Bahamas finished with just two finalists at the prestigious junior international meet - the girls 4x100m relay team that was disqualified and the junior record setting boys 4x400m relay team that finished as the sixth best in the world.
By RENALDO DORSETT
ONE of the most high profile sporting federations in the country is set to usher in a new era this weekend when they stage elections for a new executive board.
The Bahamas Basketball Federation is expected to welcome a new group of elected officers when they host elections at the Kendal Isaacs Gym on October 29.
Vying for the top post of president will be candidates Charlie "Softly" Robins, Edgar Pickstock and Randy Cunningham.
Robins, nationally renowned as a player in his prime and as a coach and administrator, said his platform will have a central focus on expanding the game of basketball to a wider demographic, including a yout ...
The Champion Amateur Boxing Club (CABC) hosted its "Thrill of Victory and Agony of Defeat" fight card on Saturday evening. The card featured three three-round bouts and a wrestling exhibition by Nassau Wrestling Entertainment (NWE).
In the first match, Michael Gomez took down Emmanuel Rolle by unanimous decision. The performance of Gomez in the fight allowed him to win the Most Valuable Boxer award.
In the second bout, Terry Rolle defeated Lennox Boyce in a close fight that had a controversial end. Boyce put together a dominant final round, but lost due to a point deduction from earlier in the fight. He had the point deducted for a late punch, after he was already given a warning for the same violation. Rolle won the Most Improved Boxer award, and the fight was voted as the match of the night.
In between the bouts, NWE hosted a match that featured Triple Ace going up against Violent T. It was the second match in two weeks between the two, but this time it was Triple Ace that came out with the victory.
In the final boxing fight of the evening, Don Rolle won by technical knockout (TKO) against Sheldon Major. Rolle delivered a stunning blow to Major in the first round, which forced the referee to give Major a standing eight count. After the count, Major was still unresponsive, which caused the fight to come to an early end.
"The competition was extremely competitive. We were at a point where we didn't know which fight was the best fight. That's how close each fight was. The guys really came out there to fight. I think the name of the event brought the best out of them. I think they really wanted to experience the thrill of victory," said Head Coach of CABC Ray Minus Jr.
"This event shows the sport of boxing is coming along very well. We have good, talented boxers, but I think we need to find our boxers more opportunities. We need to have these fighters compete against each other for positions in international tournaments, instead of just laying back. They need opportunities to determine who is the number one boxer in the country, because right now no one is sure who is. The federation (Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas) just selects particular boxers. They tried earlier in the year when they held the boxing eliminations, but I still think our fighters need more opportunities."
Minus has been coaching for more than 20 years. He has had a hand in molding some of the top boxers in the country.
"It's not something that we are bragging about, but it is definitely something that we are proud of. Even though we do not handle their administrative business, we do take pride in shaping them and working on their fundamentals," said Minus.
The Champion Amateur Boxing Club will be hosting another show on August 2. It will feature four three-round bouts and will be named "Rematch, Revenge".
The 15th edition of the FINA (International Swimming Federation) World Masters Championships will take place in Montreal, Canada, from July 27 to August 10, 2014, and Swift Swimming will send a seven-member team to compete. It will be the fourth world masters championship that the Swift Swimming Club attends; the first was in San Francisco in 2006, followed by Sweden in 2010 and Italy in 2012. A total of 14,000 athletes attended the world masters championships in Italy in 2012, representing the most ever at those championships.
Competing for Swift Swimming this year will be Percy Knowles, Andy Knowles, Nancy Knowles, Bruce Knowles, Lisa Knowles, Elliott Knowles and Allie MacPhail.
Percy will compete in the 50, 100 and 200 meters (m) breaststroke events and the 50 and 100m free events. Andy will compete in the 100, 200, 400 and 800 freestyle events and the 400m individual medley (IM). Nancy will compete in the 50, 100 and 200 butterfly and the 50 and 400 free events. Bruce will compete in the 50 and 100 breast events, the 50 back, the 50 fly and the 200 IM. Lisa will compete in the 50 free and 50 back events, and Elliott will compete in the 50, 100 and 200 free events.
The FINA World Masters Championships is the federation's biggest competition in terms of participation. Every two years, swimmers, divers and water polo players aged 25 to more than 100, from all corners of the world, gather for the meet.
The vibrant masters movement actively promotes fitness, friendship, understanding and competition through its five disciplines - swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open water swimming. FINA officially created the masters movement about 30 years ago, the first edition being held in 1986 in Tokyo, Japan.
Starting in 2015, the FINA World Masters Championships will be held in conjunction with the FINA World Championships, taking place in Kazan, Russia.
Swift has also been competing at the U.S. Masters National Championships every year since 2006; in May this year in Santa Clara, Calif., Swift Swimming won five medals at those championships. The club has a huge masters program with most adults swimming for exercise and fun.
Swift Swimming presently has three swimmers at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland - Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Dustin Tynes and Joanna Evans.
Under the current FIBA (International Basketball Federation) rules, The Bahamas' senior women's national basketball team found out the hard way that a single loss could leave you out of the medal rounds, jeopardizing your chances of moving forward. There's no doubt in the minds of many that The Bahamas was certainly one of the top three teams in the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) Championships for Senior Women, but due to that one loss and a stringent FIBA rule regarding three-way ties for preliminary round competition, the team could only muster a fifth place finish.
Strangely enough, the same fate almost befell the Bahamian men.
Heading into the third day of their CBC Championships in Tortola, British Virgin Islands (BVI), they were even in a worse situation than the women, having lost a stunner to Antigua & Barbuda by 22 points. Had Antigua & Barbuda went on to defeat St. Vincent and the Grenadines as expected, The Bahamas would have been out of the medal rounds, falling via the quotient system regarding three-way ties in preliminary round competition in FIBA basketball.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines did The Bahamas a huge favor as they defeated Antigua & Barbuda by a single point, meaning all the country had to do was defeat Cuba to move on to the medal rounds. Had it not been for that Antigua & Barbuda loss to St. Vincent, The Bahamas would have needed to defeat Cuba by 19 points in order to advance to the semi-finals. The Bahamas won, 77-71, and rode that momentum all the way to the gold medal.
So, even though the team finished first in the five-day tournament, they very easily could have been left out of the medal picture, and play in the reclassification round for the fifth through eighth spots.
Team Bahamas Assistant Coach Mario Bowleg said after that disappointing loss to Antigua, they just focussed on what they needed to do to advance and let the chips fall where they may regarding the other teams.
"We knew that we put our backs against the wall by coming out in the second game and not playing well," said Bowleg. "St. Vincent did us a huge favor, and at that point all we had to do was beat Cuba. That just shows the toughness of that competition. On any given day, any team could have beaten any of the others. Other than ourselves and Cuba, I think that everyone else was on an even keel.
"I told the guys it was all about pride for country and pride for themselves. I told them to look at the name on the chest that says Bahamas, and the name on the back which is the name of the family that they are representing. We believed that once they would have gone out there and represented those two things, they would have played to the best of their ability and do what it took to ensure that we moved on."
The Bahamas got a huge contribution from professional player Magnum Rolle in the tournament, and they will need him to step up even more when Centrobasket rolls around. The top three teams from the CBC Championship automatically qualify for the Centrobasket Championships which will be held August 1-7, in Tepic, Nayarit, in west-central Mexico. The top four teams from Centrobasket will qualify for next year's FIBA Americas Championships where they will get an opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
For the CBC Championships, Rolle was tied with point guard Marvin Gray for the team lead in scoring, averaging 13.8 points per game. That was good enough for ninth in the tournament. Rolle was second in the tournament in rebounds, averaging seven per game, and was in a five-way tie for third in blocks, averaging 1.2 per game.
"We look at Magnum as the leader, and he is the leader. He is active on and off the court. Everything is build around him, offensively and defensively," said Bowleg. "In the backcourt, we try to pressure the ball and keep people out of the paint, and also get a hand in the faces of these players who shoot the ball so well. The main thing is taking care of the ball, and getting Magnum going down low. Once we could do that, and knock down a few jump shots, we think that we will be alright heading into Centrobasket."
The Bahamas senior men's program is preparing to engage in another training camp, this time in Houston, Texas, on the campus of the University of Houston. It is expected that there will be some changes made to the team that will travel to Mexico for the Centrobasket Championships.
"We don't feel like we were in the best condition in BVI. The training camp was short, and conditioning was not the order of the day," said Bowleg. "The guys are going to be working on their conditioning leading up to Centrobasket. We took it for granted that most of them were playing pro basketball and would have come into the camp in some sort of shape. The depth of the bench allowed us to sustain a certain level of play and move on."
At this time, it is unknown who will make up the final 12 headed to Mexico, but going into the tournament, there is still a cloud of doubt regarding the availability of Lynden 'LJ' Rose Jr. who suffered a high ankle sprain at the CBC Championships. Rose was expected to get the nod at the starting point guard spot. In his absence in the BVI, Team Bahamas coaches went with a smaller, quicker, more aggressive line-up that used perimeter shooting and athleticism to get the better of their opponents.
After Rose went down, and Team Bahamas suffered that crushing loss to Antigua, coaches decided on a line-up that featured Gray and Alonzo 'CJ' Hinds in the backcourt, and Mitchell Johnson at the small forward spot in replace of Bennet Davis.
"We felt that we needed to start a three-guard line-up, and Mitch (Mitchell Johnson) was the best person who we had available who could play that three spot, handle the ball and shoot the ball," said Bowleg. "Bennet is not a three, so we had to make an adjustment there, but it was not so much his play which led to him being benched. When he came into the game, he gave us solid play from the four spot. Points wise he might not have done what persons would have expected, but all-in-all Bennet is a very intelligent player on the floor, and he gave us what we needed at that point in time. The team was very stacked. Other players stepped up when we needed them to. All-in-all, they played well."
Bowleg is hoping for much of the same in Mexico. The Bahamas will play out of Pool 'B' with the U.S. Virgin Islands, El Salvador, Puerto Rico and host country Mexico. The team must finish in the top two in that pool to move on to the semi-finals, and qualify for the 2015 FIBA Americas Championships.
The Bahamas men's national beach volleyball team never imagined that their quest for 2012 Olympic qualification would have landed them on the NBC's Today Show.
The male quartet is two rounds short of making history for the country, by becoming the first beach volleyball team from The Bahamas to qualify for the Summer Games.
The hotel sector is awaiting government "clarity" with respect to a laundry list of concerns over value-added tax (VAT), with a leading stakeholder arguing that it is urgent that these matters are addressed and legislation released.
Commenting on the sector's perspective on the status of the government's VAT implementation plans, Robert Sands, president of the Bahamas Hotel and Restaurant Employers' Association (BHREA), said the industry will not be in a position to comment in an informed way on "how satisfied we are" until the government deals with "nine or ten" points.
"I think the fact of the matter is that there are still some details the hotel industry has provided to the Ministry of Finance requesting their review. There are still a number of outstanding issues that we've put in writing to the Ministry of Finance. We are engaged in dialogue on those matters."
The government announced plans to implement VAT at
7.5 percent in late May.
However, it has yet to
table legislation and regulations outlining the details of the tax.
Sands, who is also the senior vice-president of administration and external affairs at Baha Mar, said: "The success of VAT will be in the details and we have articulated about nine or ten points that require clarity. As soon as we get a clearer position we'll be in a position to give more details."
Asked by what time the industry would need to see the updated VAT legislation and regulations in order to successfully implement it, he said: "That point is now. That's why there's a sense of urgency for these matters to be addressed."
The Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA), which was previously identified as one of the entities that would lead the charge on the education of businesses in preparation for VAT, has stated that no education can take place prior to the publication of these documents.
Speaking with Guardian Business earlier this week, Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation Chairman Robert Myers said this week was the first time since the budget that the chamber and the government have been in communication about meeting again in regards to VAT and fiscal reform.
He had earlier indicated that there had been a lack of dialogue between the two sides since the announcement of the updated VAT plan.
"We wrote a couple of strong letters saying 'what's going on?' Hopefully this week we'll have that meeting and try to figure out the way forward with regards to the steering committee and the implementation committee that will help in the implementation of VAT," said Myers.
Meanwhile, as further signs emerged this week in the form of a meeting with private sector stakeholders on Monday, and a consultation held in conjunction with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on Tuesday, that the government is gaining momentum in its efforts to bring into force National Health Insurance by 2016, Sands said it is too early to comment on BHREA's views on the proposed initiative as much remains to be clarified.
In a statement issued yesterday, Stuart Bowe, president of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), said the association is actively engaged in the consultative process on NHI, working with various agencies including the Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization, representatives from civil society, the National Insurance Board, social health organizations and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation.
"The government of The Bahamas is procuring a strategy for universal health coverage for The Bahamas. The BHTA is sensitive to the implications of universal health coverage and will stay close to this important process in the coming months," Bowe said.
Since the inaugural International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) World Junior Championships in Athens, Greece in 1986, The Bahamas has captured four gold medals and five bronze medals, not bad for a small nation.
First world junior medal
The first medal, a bronze, was won by Eugene Greene in the triple jump, of course, in Sudbury, Canada in 1988, the second edition of the championships.
Shamar Sands, Kingston, 2002
We suffered a long drought and the next medal, a bronze also, was won by Shamar Sands in the 110 meters (m) hurdles in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2002.
Sheniqua Ferguson, Poland, 2008
It took another six years before we won another medal in the world juniors, this time a bronze in the 100m in Poland in 2008 by Sheniqua Ferguson, then a gold in that same competition in the 200m.
Shaunae Miller, Moncton, 2010
At the Moncton Championships in Canada in 2010, Shaunae Miller captured a gold medal in the 400m.
In Barcelona in 2012, The Bahamas had an explosion in the medals, winning four medals, two golds by sprinter Anthonique Strachan and two bronze medals in the boys' high jump and triple jump events. Strachan's performance was so outstanding that she defeated her competitor by the widest margin ever in the 200m in the history of the world junior championships. She clocked 22.53 seconds to the USA's Olivia Ekpone's 23.15 seconds. For her performances in Barcelona, in particular, Strachan was selected the IAAF's Female Rising Star of 2012.
Ryan Ingraham won a bronze medal in the high jump and Latario Collie-Minns captured a bronze medal in the triple jump. The Bahamas finished ninth on the medal table.
Much has happened since those athletes who were ranked high on the world junior lists participated in Barcelona. This year, The Bahamas has no athlete in the top 10 juniors list, although our athletes have rebounded after their performances at the CARIFTA Games in Martinique. They won seven gold medals at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Championships in Morelia, Mexico, two weeks ago.
Steven Gardiner, of Moore's Island, ran 20.66 seconds for new national junior record in the 200m. For some reason, he or his new coach George Cleare opted out of the CAC Juniors where he would have had great preparation for Eugene. There he would have faced Anguillan Zharnel Hughes who captured the 100m at the 2013 CARIFTA Games in The Bahamas, and won in Morelia with a 20.33 seconds clocking. Gardiner sits in the 11th spot worldwide on the junior list. Hughes is in first, the odds on favorite to win in Eugene. Gardiner, the tall sprinter from Moore's Island, compete at this year's CARIFTA Games, but his slow start was clear for all to see. Morelia could have served him well as it did other athletes on the Bahamian team.
Devynne Charlton won her specialty, the 100m hurdles, in Morelia with a 13.56 seconds clocking. For this, she is ranked 25th on the world junior list.
Sprinter Kieanna Albury, the only other Bahamian on the junior list, won the 200m in 23.54 seconds, 30th on the list.
At the moment, although it will be very tough, some Bahamian athlete can rise to the occasion and capture a medal for Bahamaland.
Other regional hopes
Trinidad and Tobago's Machel Cedenio captured the 400m at the 2013 and 2014 CARIFTA Games, and two weeks ago, captured the CAC Juniors title in Morelia in his second best time of the year. Cedenio is ranked number one in the 400m on the world junior list, in 45.23 seconds. He will be tough to beat.
From Guadeloupe, Wilhem Belocian, the 110m hurdles bronze medalist in Barcelona, for France, is running extremely well this year. He won the event at CARIFTA in 2013, and this year has run 13.15 seconds, the best performance for a junior in the world. Guadeloupe is a Department of France, hence Belocian and many other athletes from Guadeloupe and Martinique participate at the world level for France.
Another world junior record in the 100m?
At the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championships in Eugene, Ore., in June, Baylor's Trayvon Bromell broke Trinidad and Tobago Darrel Brown's world junior record of 10.01 seconds. He became the first junior to run under 10 seconds when he cruised in 9.97 seconds for the win. The USA also has Trentavis Friday, who has a best of 10 seconds flat this season.
Japan's Yoshihide Kiryu had some runs close to Brown's world junior record last year, and his best this year is 10.05 seconds. This should make for a great race with the possibility of another world record run in the century.
An IAAF requirement
We believe the IAAF World Junior Championships, which begin in Eugene, 'Track Town USA' today, will be one of the very best. Unfortunately, the Cubans will not be there.
One of the requirements of the IAAF for cities bidding for their world events is that athletes from each of their member federations would be provided entry visas. This is certainly not the case with Cuba this year, and it saddens those in the world athletic community that the USA has taken this stand. Even Cuban athletics president, IAAF Council member and double Olympic champion Alberto Juantorena, has been denied a visa along with his son Alberto Jr. and other athletes on the Cuban team.
If this is allowed to happen for the world juniors, what will happen for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland in 2016 or the IAAF World Outdoor Championships in 2019, if the USA is able to win the bid? It is the belief now that the 2016 world indoors should be taken from Portland. It is also the feeling that there is no way that the council should vote for Eugene for the 2019 World Championships for their behavior with the Cubans in 2014.