January 18, 2017
In exactly 93 days, The Bahamas will host the third edition of the International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) World Relay Championships at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
The countdown for the 2017 World Relays is on, as the event was launched at a press conference at the stadium yesterday. Present were members of the local organizing committee (LOC) and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Dr. Daniel Johnson. The IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2017, is set for April 22-23, and is expected to feature some of the biggest names in the sport of athletics from around the world.
The 4x100 meters (m), 4x200m, 4x400m and 4x800m relays, in both genders, will be contested, and, for the first time in the event's history, a mixed gender 4x400m race will be held, replacing the distance medley events. Therefore, there will be nine events on the track, as opposed to 10, as was the case in the first two editions of the world relays.
The 2017 IAAF World Relays will also serve as a qualifier for the 2017 IAAF World Championships, set for August 4-13, in London, England.
"We can almost say we are veterans now at hosting the world relays," said IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2017 Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rosamunde Carey, who also serves as president of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA). "We will put the same top notch effort into this year's relays that we put into the relays that we hosted in the past. The Bahamas is currently at the forefront of athletics, and we are going to continue to live up to our reputation as a sporting nation. We look forward to connecting with some 700 athletes, showcasing our very own star athletes, and of course, giving our guests a taste of our beautiful island and our unique culture."
This year's world relays will be broadcast live in a number of countries, available all over the world.
Also, the customary junior event that features high school athletes from around The Bahamas, competing in the same relays as the elite athletes, will continue this year. It will be held both days, prior to the program for the world relays.
"I used to think that it was the sun, sand and sea that attracted people to The Bahamas, but when I really thought about it, all of the other Caribbean countries can offer the same thing. What separates us is the people," said IAAF Council Member Pauline Davis-Thompson. "They always rave about the hospitality they come across when they are here. The IAAF Council is eager to return to The Bahamas and see what will come with this year's event."
The Bahamas is also confirmed as the host country for the 2019 World Relays, and while hosting the event four times in a row is an impressive achievement within itself, Minister Johnson said that he and the LOC look to take things a step further, as they put in a request to make The Bahamas the official home of the IAAF World Relays.
"We look at this as more than just bringing an event home. We see this as bringing an entire industry home," he said. "This can be ours for generations to come. The idea of 'sports in paradise' is to benefit the entire country. Doctors, painters, hotel workers, taxi drivers and other professionals stand to benefit from this as well. We are building an industry that we own."
The first world relays in 2014 featured a total of 470 athletes from 41 of the 200-plus member federations of the IAAF. The following year, a total of 514 athletes from 42 countries competed. This year, the event is expected to surpass both totals.
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January 18, 2017
Bahamian collegiate long and triple jumper Dannielle Gibson, who's currently ranked No. 2 in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the women's triple jump indoors, was named as the Big Ten Conference's Female Field Athlete of the Week yesterday.
Gibson, like several other Bahamian collegiate track and field athletes, kicked the 2017 indoor season off on a high note. At the Nittany Lion Challenge, she won the women's triple jump with a distance of 13.33 meters (m) - 43 feet 9 inches. That was a new personal best indoors and the second best jump in school history. The Penn State senior added a third place finish in the long jump with a mark of 5.82m (19 feet 1-1/4 inches).
"It feels exhilarating, not only for myself, like an accomplishment for myself, but for my team as well," Gibson said of the historic leap. "I feel like I have to give it up to my team, because first my teammates starting it off added fuel to the fire, so it was really good to get that start. I look forward to what's going to come next. Mentally, I feel like I'm 10 steps or 10 moves from where I was last year, so it's a continuation of starting from square one and I really feel good about that."
This is the first time in Gibson's career that she won a Big Ten indoor weekly award. The last Penn State indoor field athlete of the week for the conference was Lexi Mastersonon, January 13, 2016.
Gibson shares the honor with Illinois' Kandie Bloch-Jones who finished first in the high jump at the Illini Classic with a mark of 1.84m (6 feet 1/4 inch) that currently ranks third in the NCAA and second on Illinois' all-time list.
Last outdoor season, Gibson captured the triple jump gold medal at the NACAC (North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association) Under-23 Championships in San Salvador, El Salvador, finishing with a mark of 13.54m (44 feet 5-1/4 inches), recording the best jump of her athletics career. She also finished 11th in the women's triple jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, earning second-team All-American honors. She wrapped up the indoor season with a 10th place finish in the triple jump at the NCAA Championships with a mark of 12.88m (42 feet 3-1/4 inches) at the Birmingham Crossplex in Birmingham, Alabama.
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January 18, 2017
Senior sprinter at Auburn University, Bahamian Teray Smith, hopes to build on his strong start to the 2017 indoor season, looking to make this season his most memorable one as a collegiate athlete.
At the Commodore Invitational this past Friday, Smith finished first in the men's 200 meters (m) in 21.22 seconds.
"I'm in the best shape of my life, thanks to my coaching staff at Auburn," said Smith following the meet. "My personal goal is to become the first Bahamian to run sub-20. If I run sub-20, I'll be in the finals of the IAAF World Championships. That's a big goal, to be the first Bahamian athlete to ever run 19 seconds. I know I can do it."
The 2017 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships is set for August 4-13, in London, England.
After dealing with a hamstring injury toward the end of last year's outdoor season, Smith said he's ready for a breakout performance against the world's best.
Despite battling a leg injury, he ran 20.66 in the first round of the men's 200m at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, not far off his season's best time of 20.62 seconds.
"It just motivates me going into my senior season to work harder - no days off," he said. "When the world championships come around, I want to be in the final. I want to be in contention to represent my country to get a medal, and to represent Auburn."
At the War Eagle Invitational last season, Smith finished sixth in the men's 100m, and posted a time of 20.64 seconds in the 200m.
In the indoor season, he was 11th at the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Indoor Championships in the 200m in a time of 21.08 seconds. He finished eighth at the Husker Invitational in the 60m with a time of 6.91 seconds, and recorded a ninth place finish in the 200m in 20.95 seconds.
In both 2014 and 2015, Smith was selected as an Outdoor Second Team All-American in the 200m. In 2014, he was also named to the All-SEC Freshman Team for his times in the 100 and 200m.
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January 18, 2017
IOC President Thomas Bach welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping to The Olympic Museum today, in what is the first visit by a Chinese Head of State to the IOC...
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January 18, 2017
Site tour marks 100-day countdown...The countdown is officially on! With just under 100-days to the start of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017...
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January 18, 2017
As Team Bahamas ventures to Argentina to continue its preparation for the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, the stadium that they will welcome the world to is continuing to take shape.
The Bahamas Football Association (BFA), in conjunction with the local organizing committee of the event (LOC) and the government of The Bahamas, celebrated the 100-day countdown to the biggest football event to ever be held in the country by taking the media on a tour of the multi-million dollar facility yesterday.
The facility at the foot of the Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge is expected to cost about $2.5 million. From the look of things, it is nearing completion. Just the VIP section and main grandstand await completion, and the sand for the soccer pitch must be brought in.
"This is going to be a unique facility for this region," said BFA President Anton Sealey yesterday. "Also, it's not just a beach soccer stadium. It is an arena that will be hosting the beach soccer world cup, but once the beach soccer world cup has come and gone, this stadium will be a legacy, capable of hosting other events. We are already getting requests from our regional neighbors for the plans, because other countries want to duplicate what we have here. This is going to be a state-of-the-art facility, and one which the entire Bahamas could be proud of. We're looking forward to the 11 days of competition and hosting teams from all over the world."
All six confederations of FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) will be represented at the global event, which is set for April 27 to May 7, at the new facility here in Nassau, The Bahamas. All of the regions, with the exception of AFC (Asian Football Confederation), CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) and CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation), have already staged their qualifiers. The Bahamas, ranked number one in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and number five in CONCACAF, qualifies for the global event as the host nation. The CONCACAF region will feature two other qualifiers, which will be determined from their championships, set for February 20-26, at the same facility.
"We want to encourage Team Bahamas who is in Argentina preparing for the world cup to come out and put on a good performance, and we want to say to the wider Team Bahamas to do what you have to do to get ready for this mega event," said LOC Chairman Jeffrey Beckles. "We want all Bahamians to come out and cheer on Team Bahamas and show the world that we are indeed the best place to host sporting events. We are pleased to say that through a collaborate effort, this event is going to grand and very successful. This is going to be a wonderful stadium, and it is going to be a tremendous boost for the country going forward. We just want to thank all of the stakeholders who came on board, ensuring that we get to this point, and that this event takes place."
The stadium was designed by Bruce LaFleur & Associates, Ltd., in conjunction with Integrated Building Services (IBS) and an international firm based in Malaysia. Cavalier Construction is the lead contractor.
"It's a collaborate effort. We want to thank all of the stakeholders who came on board to make this happen," said LaFleur, who also serves as a vice president in the BFA and LOC member. "The use of Cavalier Construction was paramount for us. Cavalier has been a partner of the BFA for many years. The president 'Dick' Wilson used to be the president of Cavalier Football Club. He has been instrumental in making sure this project is completed on time. The energy and enthusiasm that Cavalier has brought on board has been truly extraordinary. These guys have been working very hard to ensure that this project is completed on time. We have a test event at the end of February, so it is imperative that the stadium be in playing shape by that time. We're going to start to build the VIP stand in another couple weeks. It's moving very quickly. There has been some challenges, as with all things, but all of the government agencies have done all they can to help this project be completed."
The test event that LaFleur is referring to is the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championships, from which the final two qualifiers for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will be determined.
The event itself will be free of charge to the public, including the championship match that is set for Sunday May 7.
"At the end of the day, this is a family event," said Sealey. "The government has invested significantly in this event, but we thought it was not necessary to charge an entrance fee to make it accessible to as many Bahamians as possible, particularly the kids. The benefit of having it accessible to as many Bahamians as possible would far outweigh the economic benefit of the event. The economy itself will be bolstered from a large contingent of foreign nationals descending upon The Bahamas, and specifically the capital island of New Providence, in some cases, for up to a month because some of the teams will come in early to get acclimatized. When these players and coaches come here, some of them are coming with their families. A number of them will remain here after the tournament on vacation, and explore The Bahamas. That is one of the things that we are looking at," he added.
The host hotel of the event is the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, and a fan zone will be set up on that side of the bridge, engaging fans and enthusiasts of the various teams. A total of 16 teams is set to compete.
"This is a made-for-TV event," said Sealey. "Every match will be broadcasted, and they will be accessible by all 211 member countries of FIFA. The reach of this event is going to be tremendous from a tourism standpoint. FIFA has a tremendous reach, and the country will get a chance to leverage off of that. We are encouraging all Bahamians to come out and support Team Bahamas.
"The stadium is going to be awesome. Team Bahamas is training extremely hard. They are working out diligently under the watchful eyes of Coach Suarez. We're just encouraging potential sponsors to come on board with us, embrace the effort and support this venture. The economic impact for this country is going to be exceptional. It's going to be a tremendous economic boost for our country at a time when we desperately need it."
Team Bahamas is being coached by Brazilian Luis Suarez, who is a four-time champion with Brazil at the beach soccer world cup. He and the team left for Argentina yesterday, where they will play a series of games against host nation Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay and Paraguay. They will return in about a week.
A team song, produced by Fred Ferguson and Dyson Knight, and a video featuring The Bahamas, are set to be released for the mega global event.
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January 18, 2017
Bimini, The Bahamas -- All signs point to Bimini from February 1-5, where three super events are being held over one weekend. This, as Resorts World Bimini, the Hilton Hotel at Resorts World and The Bahamas' Ministry of Tourism team up to host the first annual wahoo challenge, featuring a live performance by country star Phil Vassar and a "Big Game Day Watch Party" at the resort's famed sports bar and casino.
The first Resorts World Ocean Sports Wahoo Challenge will offer a guaranteed minimum payout of $35,000.
Resorts World Bimini provides a unique resort venue and an exciting event platform for some of the world's best sport fishing. The resort's luxurious surroundings combined with Bimini's reputation as the big game-fishing capital of the world promises to make this an unforgettable event.
A new website has been launched to make signing up for the event easy. ResortsWorldOceanSports.com is the site for upcoming ocean sports events in Bimini, and will be an information source for a wide variety of ocean sports events produced and sponsored by Resorts World Bimini. The tournament fee of $3,000 per boat with advance registration covers tournament participation of one to six registered participants per boat. All registered tournament boats will receive six tournament tickets. Each ticket includes one tournament shirt, one awards dinner ticket and one participant identification wristband good for all Resorts World Bimini tournament events.
A social credential may be purchased for $300, which includes one tournament shirt, one awards dinner ticket and one participant identification wristband good for all Resorts World Bimini Sport fishing tournament events. Detailed information and tournament rules are available on the website where interested persons can register online, or by downloading and mailing their entry. Early registration is advised.
After a day on the water catching wahoo, anglers will get to enjoy the sounds of American country music artist and songwriter Phil Vassar, performing live February 4 at Resorts World Bimini. Some of his hits include "Just Another Day in Paradise" and "In a Real Love". This live performance is complimentary for all resort and marina guests.
Bimini's super weekend wouldn't be complete without a watch-party for the biggest football game of the season. All the action of the big game will be seen live on the big screen in Resorts World Bimini's 10,000-square-foot, live-action casino featuring popular table games including baccarat, blackjack, craps and roulette, plus a sports book where patrons can bet on their favorite teams while watching the game.
Raffled prizes to be drawn during timeouts and halftime include a seaplane package for two, rooms at the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini, casino free play and more.
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January 18, 2017
For months, people around the world, and here at home, were preparing for the Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend, and for the fifth consecutive year, Caribbean Bottling Company, the local producer of Coca-Cola products, was there. This past weekend, runners, walkers, and joggers were hydrated with locally produced Dasani water.
"We were delighted once again that Dasani agreed to participate at the Gold level, being our exclusive water for the Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend," said Chakita Archer, one of the organizers of the race weekend. "The two-day event consisted of the Susan G. Komen Bahamas Race for the Cure and Marathon Bahamas which fielded thousands of runners, participants and spectators. We applaud Dasani for their continued support in assisting with creating an awareness about cancer in our country, and contributing to raising funds for our beneficiaries to carry out their objectives in helping persons. We always look forward to having Dasani partner with us in this great initiative."
Caribbean Bottling Company Marketing Manager Cara Douglas said: "Offering race options for all age groups, and fitness levels, the Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend truly is a premier race event. It offers a wonderful platform to encourage activity, and community development, for this reason we are very happy to support this ever growing event, and hydrate all participants with Dasani."
Within the past two years, Dasani has become a prominent fixture on the Bahamian race and athletics scene. Dasani hydrates large national events such as the Bahamas Half Marathon, the CIBC Walk for the Cure, the Atlantic Medial Fun Run/Walk, and the Bahamas Bowl, as well as smaller community events such as Run For Pompey (Exuma), the Dog Days Half Marathon (Grand Bahama), the Sandilands Run/Push-A-Thon, and countless others.
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January 17, 2017
Today marks 100 days until the kick off of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017, and excitement continues to grow as the city of Nassau prepares to host the country’s biggest sporting event to date...
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January 17, 2017
Official Draw event scheduled for end of February
Today marks 100 days until the kick off of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017, and excitement continues to grow as the city of Nassau prepares to host the country’s biggest sporting event to date.
To mark the milestone, Prime Minister of The Bahamas the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, other Bahamas government officials and members of the media will tour the new beach soccer stadium, which is nearing completion.
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January 17, 2017
The islands of The Bahamas once again captivated millions of spectators as 132 professional golfers from around the world battled for the first ever Bahamas Great Exuma Classic title.
The event, which kicked off the Professional Golf Association's (PGA) 2017 Web.com Tour, was held at Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma, January 8-11.
In the end, it was veteran Kyle Thompson who took home a winning prize of $108,000. It was his fifth time winning a Web.com tournament. He was followed by Andrew Yun and Nicholas Thompson, who both took home prizes of $52,800. At the awards ceremony, Kyle Thompson said it was his first time to The Bahamas, but it certainly would not be his last.
"Every time I met someone I felt welcomed. It is the most beautiful place I have ever went to. I have travelled the world to play gold. I have seen a lot of nice spots, but there is not a beach in the world that could compare to what I have seen. It is just so beautiful," he said. "This was my first trip to The Bahamas, but I can't wait to come back."
Vice President of PGA Tour's Rules and Regulations Jim Dunken said he fell in love with Bahamians.
"We are from America but every person on this island made us feel like we were at home. You are some of the nicest people that I have ever met," he said.
Brooks Downing, president and founder of BDGlobal Sports, said the company saw the need to "take over" Exuma.
"This is the first stop for persons wanting to make the PGA Tour. This is the first stop for the season. For The Bahamas, it puts The Bahamas on a marketing platform like it's never had. It builds up the brand of golf in The Bahamas. Everyone knows Nassau but this is a chance for us to showcase the Family Islands and the true Bahamas. The players are happy to be here. They are in love with The Bahamas," he said.
Golf Marketing Manager in the Ministry of Tourism Angelika Cartwright said The Bahamas received priceless marketing from this event.
"We are showing the world that we are able to host professional events like this. We are showing the world that we are more than just sun, sand and sea. We are diverse just as our islands are diverse," she said. "The goal of the Minister of Tourism is to make sure that The Bahamas is the top golf destination in the region. We want when people think of the Caribbean, they think golf - they think The Bahamas."
The PGA Web.com Tour comes on the heels of Tiger Woods' Hero World Challenge, which was held at Albany, New Providence in December. The annual event saw the return of legendary golfer Tiger Woods after a 16-month hiatus.
From January 22-25, the Web.com Tour will be in Abaco for the Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at the Abaco Club. Just a few days later, from January 23-29, the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) Classic will return to The Bahamas, set to be held at the Ocean Club Resort on Paradise Island.
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January 17, 2017
Today actually marks 100 days until the kick off of the FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017, and excitement continues to grow as the city of Nassau prepares to host one of the country's biggest sporting events to date.
To mark the milestone, Prime Minister of The Bahamas Perry Christie and other Bahamas government officials are set to tour the new beach soccer stadium, which is nearing completion. A total of 16 teams will face off on the white sands of The Bahamas from April 27 to May 7 in the new state-of the-art facility against the backdrop of the turquoise ocean at the foot of the Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge.
"The Bahamas is the first country in the Caribbean to host a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, a huge honor for us. With just 100 days to go, we are moving full steam ahead with our preparations and are working hard to ensure that the local community buys into this world-class event that will showcase The Bahamas' sun, sand, sea and sports, and of course, our amazing culture and hospitality to the rest of the world," said Jeffrey Beckles, Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Chairman.
Joan Cusco, FIFA Beach Soccer Committee member, said: "The beginning of the 100-day countdown means that the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017 is just around the corner. It will come very quickly, and we are all looking forward to it. It is a very exciting moment and it is great to see how the event is firmly walking onwards, building up to what will be a spectacular sports festival."
A total of eight teams have already qualified for the highly anticipated event. The Bahamas, Tahiti, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, Nigeria and Senegal are all in preparation mode for the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Other teams are looking forward to their respective qualifying tournaments in the coming weeks.
The fate of the qualifiers will be decided on February 28 at the official draw for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017 event, which determines the four groups and match schedule for the 16 competing teams.
As the clock continues to countdown to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017, the host nation invites all beach soccer fans to Nassau, to experience the unique event. For more information, the public is asked to visit the website www.fifa.com/beachsoccerworldcup.
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January 16, 2017
Thousands of runners from around the world gathered this past weekend to compete in the Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend, which was highlighted by the eighth annual Marathon Bahamas yesterday.
According to Sunshine Insurance Vice President of Operation Shelly Wilson, one of the key organizers, this year's marathon stacked up well against those of years past, in terms of attendance, with a large number of participants coming from overseas.
"About 30 percent of the participants this year were tourists," she said. "Participation in the event has ranged to about 1,000 participants or just over that, and we may have met or surpassed that number again."
The marathon started and ended at Junkanoo Beach (west of downtown Nassau). It went east through downtown Nassau over the Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge, returning over the eastern Paradise Island Bridge. The route continued east to Montagu Beach with a westward turn onto Shirley Street all the way to Cumberland Street north. At Bay Street, the course continued to the west, hugging the northern shores of Cable Beach, Delaporte and West Bay Street. The turnaround was about a quarter of a mile west of Compass Point, and then the runners returned east all the way to the eastern entrance of Arawak Cay for an oceanfront finish.
Leigh Schmit and Chen Lo crossed the finish line yesterday as the top male and female finishers respectively in the 26.2-mile race.
Schmit, 44, who's from North Hampton, New Hampshire, crossed the finish line in 2:52:21, and Lo, 33, who resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, finished in 3:17:57.6.
Florida native Johnathan Volpi was the top male finisher in the half marathon for the fourth straight year with a time of 1:14:43.9; and in women's action, Florencia Morales, of Argentina, won the half marathon in 1:29:44.7.
St. Anne's high school emerged as the top finisher in the student run, followed by Westminster College and St. Augustine's College (SAC).
The team of Omavi Collison, Phillip Armbrister, Vincent Gardiner and Reagan Cartwright crossed the line in 3:09:40 for the St. Anne's Blue Waves.
In the adult relay action, the Bald Eagles won the male division in 3:09:26; and the GBPA Pacers took the female division in 4:13.28.
The other half of race weekend, the Susan G. Komen 5k (kilometer) Race for the Cure, was staged on Saturday. Over 1,000 runners and walkers took part in that race, which started at Montagu Beach and finished at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island.
All of the proceeds collected from the race will remain in The Bahamas to fund breast cancer research and women's health programs.
The Bahamas' Ministry of Tourism served as a diamond sponsor of the event; Atlantis, FOCOL and BTC served as platinum sponsors.
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January 16, 2017
Although the program is still in its infant stages, The Bahamas' junior water polo program is taking the necessary steps to ensure that national squads have good showings at the international events they're set to compete in this year.
While putting on a good show at home at the 2017 CARIFTA Water Polo Championships in April remains their main focus, the junior national team is also looking to have a strong performance at the 15th Annual South Florida International Tournament, which is set for February 17-19, in Coral Springs, Florida, USA. The CARIFTA championships will be held at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Aquatics Complex, April 7-9.
According to the team's head coach, Chris Illing, they may be a bit inexperienced, but they're motivated and very coachable.
"We plan to use this tournament as preparation for CARIFTA," said Illing at a team practice over the weekend. "It's a big tournament where some of our Caribbean opponents will be playing. That will allow us to make our first comparisons. The boys are coming along fine, but it's always tough when you are the only team in the country (in that age group). However, our numbers are growing. The more players we get, the more competition they'll have, which will allow them to be even sharper when it's time to go up against competition from around the world."
Bahamas Swimming Federation (BSF) President Algernon Cargill, in a recent interview with The Nassau Guardian, said that he pushed to get the water polo championships in New Providence because he believes the program has a lot to offer, and can create another avenue for youngsters to further their education.
"The federation has truly been supportive of what we have been doing so far," said Illing. "We will try to make them proud and bring home at least one gold medal this year. Last year we scored three silvers, so there is still room for improvement."
The 30-member team that represented The Bahamas at the 2016 CARIFTA Water Polo Championships finished second in Trinidad and Tobago. The Bahamas competed against Barbados, Bonaire, Curacao and the host country Trinidad and Tobago in the under-14, under-16 and under-19 categories. Last June, The Bahamas' under-12 and under-14 water polo teams won the Florida Sunshine State Games titles. The under-14 team won gold out of a field of 11 teams. They opened their campaign with convincing 11-0 and 10-5 wins over teams from Boca Raton, Florida, and South Florida. This was followed by a 5-0 victory over a team from Orlando and a 17-5 win over the well-established MBI club. The under-12 co-ed team was impressive in winning its age division.
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January 16, 2017
University of Texas sophomore swimmer, Bahamian Joanna Evans, helped propel the Texas Longhorns to a historic win over longtime powerhouse Georgia, in swimming, on Saturday.
With assistance from a pair of gold medals from Evans, the Longhorns snapped Georgia's 103-meet home winning streak. They dealt the defending National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Champions their first home loss since 1995, winning the dual match-up easily, 171-124.
"What a big day for Texas," said Longhorns' Head Coach Carol Capitani, who served as an assistant coach for Georgia for quite some time. "This is a very special team, and I couldn't be more proud of this group of young women. Our girls have fought all year, and today was no exception. It is an emotional day for them and for me. I spent a long time at Georgia, and it has shaped the way I think and coach. I am very grateful for the people who have been a part of this journey. This team has some big goals, and this win is another step toward where we want to go."
Evans, a Rio de Janeiro Olympian for The Bahamas, won the 1,000-yard freestyle in 9:46.40. Stephanie Peters, of Georgia, touched the wall second in 9:49.88, and her teammate Rachel Zilinsk was third in 9:59.12.
Evans followed up that strong performance with a win in the 500-yard free in 4:45.85. Peters finished second once again, this time in 4:47.96, and her teammate Meg Finnon touched the wall third in 4:52.66. Evans also finished fifth in the women's 200-yard freestyle in 1:49.16.
The Longhorns jumped out to an early lead with a win in the women's 200-yard medley relay. That team was made up of Tasija Karosas, Madisyn Cox, Remedy Rule and All American junior Rebecca Millard.
Cox followed the relay performance with a pair of individual wins in the 200-yard free and 200-yard breast. She captured the 200-yard free in 1:45.28 and took the 200-yard breast in 2:09.56.
Texas returns to action on January 27 when it hosts Arizona for a two-day dual meet at home.
Sitting with a 9-1 win/loss record on the season, the Longhorns swimming and diving team is currently ranked as the fifth best team in the nation. However, after the win over Georgia, their ranking could rise before their next meet.
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January 15, 2017
A number of Bahamian athletes saw action this past weekend, as the indoor season continued collegiately, and the T-Bird Flyers Track and Field Classic was held locally.
At the Illini Classic in Champaign, Illinois, redshirt junior Pedrya Seymour picked up right where she left off. The fast rising star clocked 8.20 seconds to take the women's 60 meters (m) hurdles. She ran a blazing 8.13 seconds in the heats.
It was a 1-3 Illinois sweep as sophomore Jayla Stewart finished second in 8.52 seconds, and junior Kortni Smyers-Jones was third in 8.60 seconds.
Bahamian Devynne Charlton led a 1-3 sweep for Purdue at a dual meet against Indiana, on the Indiana Hoosiers stomping ground, Gladstein Fieldhouse, in Bloomington.
Charlton, a junior, won the women's 60m hurdles in 8.39 seconds. Senior Savannah Roberson was second in 8.64 seconds, and senior Shantyra Delaney was third in 8.68 seconds.
Carmiesha Cox took charge in the women's 60m, holding off her teammates Sekayi Bracey and Charlton. Cox, a junior, won in 7.52 seconds. Freshman Bracey held off Charlton for second in a photo finish. Both athletes were timed in 7.56 seconds.
The men's 400m title went to Bahamian Kinard Rolle. Rolle, a sophomore, won comfortably in 47.63 seconds for Purdue. Shawndail McLaren, also a sophomore at Purdue, was second in 48.45 seconds and Indiana's Markevious Roach, a sophomore, finished third in 49.11 seconds.
The other Bahamian in action at the meet, sprinter Keanu Pennerman, a sophomore at Purdue, had to settle for second and third in the men's 60m and 200m respectively. His teammate, sophomore Malcolm Dotson, took the 60m title in 6.79 seconds. Pennerman was second in 6.95 seconds, and Purdue's Joshua Ebikwo, a junior, completed the 1-3 sweep for the Purdue Boilermakers. He finished in 7.03 seconds.
In the 200m, Dotson again prevailed, winning in 21.81 seconds. Treyton Harris, a sophomore at Indiana, finished second in 22.07 seconds, and Pennerman settled for third in 22.16 seconds.
Over at the Sooner Open at the Mosier Indoor Track in Norman, Oklahoma, Bahamian Laquan Nairn picked up a pair of second place finishes.
South Plains College freshman Nairn had a best leap of 7.43m (24' 4-1/2") to finish second in the men's long jump. Fabian Edoki, a sophomore at South Plains, won with a leap of 7.61m (24' 11-3/4"), Nairn was second, and Derrick Monroe, another sophomore at South Plains, was third with a best leap of 7.33m (24' 0-1/2").
In the men's triple jump, Nairn had a best leap of 15.38m (50' 5-1/2") to finish second. Oklahoma senior Hayden McClain won with a jump of 16.38m (53' 9"), Nairn was second, and Edoki settled for third this time, with a leap of 15.20m (49' 10-1/2").
At the Aggie Team Invitational at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, Texas Southern freshman Alexis Gray picked up two top-five results. She was third in the women's 200m in 24.81, and fifth in the 60m in 7.65.
Texas A&M's senior Kaina Martinez won the 200m in 24.58 seconds, Texas Southern's senior Breana Dockery was second in 24.60 seconds, and Gray finished third. Texas A&M's sophomore Deana Richardson and Lamar's sophomore Chanissey Fowler were both timed in 7.52 seconds in the women's 60m. Richardson emerged victorious in a photo finish. Martinez was third in 7.58 seconds, Texas A&M's senior Plaserae Johnson was fourth in 7.60 seconds, and Gray settled for fifth. Gray ran the second leg of a third-place outing for Texas Southern's women's 4x400m team. They finished in 3:54.64. Sam Houston St. won in 3:52.30, and Prairie View finished second in 3:53.41.
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January 13, 2017
In an effort to maximize the amount of opportunities available to Bahamian children through sports, the Ministry of Education Sports Unit plans to further develop some of the niche sports in the country this year.
According to Sports Unit Director for the Ministry of Education Evon Wisdom, developing those niche sports, such as bowling, judo, equestrian and archery, will go a long way toward helping more Bahamian children get college educations.
"One of the things we want to do is diversify the menu for young people, along the lines of Olympic development," he said. "One of the ways we thought to do it was through the existing federations and clubs in the country. We chose to focus on sports that would assist student athletes in particular at the Olympic level.
"What you had in the past were individuals that took it upon themselves to learn or take up a niche sport. Now we are making it open to all students, allowing them the opportunity to pick and choose what they may be interested in."
Similar to what has been done with track and field and basketball in the past, Wisdom said that the niche sports could also attract international competition to The Bahamas, which could add to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture's "Sports in Paradise" campaign that's currently in place.
"If you look at what has been done with the IAAF World Relays and the numerous basketball tournaments that come here, they come because we have established athletes and programs in those sports," said Wisdom. "They won't come unless we have something in place. And it's up to us to ensure that our kids aren't boxed in. We have to get out of this small-minded way of thinking and reach for more than what we already have.
"We see sports as a means to do so much in the country. We can better our kids, provide jobs and bring millions of visitors in. We're sitting on something so special. The same way our teams are now regulars at certain tournaments overseas, we can have that here."
Last year, the ministry's sport unit established national championships in a number of sports for the first time, including equestrian, bowling, soccer, baseball, sailing, volleyball and basketball.
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January 13, 2017
Despite the fact that senior guard Michael Carey posted his fourth double-double of the season for Wagner College on Thursday night, his effort still wasn't enough to will the Seahawks past the Bryant University Bulldogs at home, in a game that they were heavily favored to win.
Carey finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the 77-66 loss to their conference rivals.
The loss to Bryant could hurt the Seahawks more than the others they suffered this season, in terms of position in the North Eastern Conference (NEC), as the regular season winds down.
The Bulldogs came into Thursday's game with a 4-12 overall record and 1-3 in the conference compared to the Seahawks' 6-8 overall mark and 2-2 conference record.
Although the teams traded the lead a handful of times in the first half, two late free throws by Cory Henson and AJ Sumbry allowed the Seahawks to take a 31-29 lead at the break.
The beginning of the second half was tight like the first, until Bryant took control of the game with 13:02 left. With the teams tied at 46 at the time, the Bulldogs rattled off a 13-5 scoring run to take a 59-51 lead with just over six minutes left in the contest. Shortly after, Wagner suffered another blow, as Carey fouled out with more than five minutes left to play.
Although Wagner made a few late charges, they never really threatened Bryant's lead.
Nisre Zouzoua scored seven of his 24 points for Bryant during the late run. His basket with 4:33 to go sparked a 14-5 run for Bryant, and he finished it with a free throw at 1:13.
The Bulldogs took advantage of their chances at the free throw line, making 27 of their 32 attempts, compared to just 15-31 foul shooting by Wagner.
Carey scored 12 of his points in the second half but picked up four fouls in under nine minutes of the second half. The 6'5" wingman has now scored 20 points or more in Wagner's last three games.
The Seahawks will look to bounce back today when they take on Robert Morris University on the road. Action kicks off at 4 p.m.
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January 12, 2017
After getting off to a slow start in his National Basketball Association (NBA) career, Bahamian Chavano "Buddy" Hield recently moved into the top five in the Kia Rookie of the Year Award race for the first time this season.
Hield started off out of the running, moved to eighth position last week, and now sits in the fourth spot after a string of double-digit scoring games.
The 6-foot-4 wingman has been knocking down three-pointers with consistency since December, and is now a regular member of New Orleans Pelicans' Head Coach Alvin Gentry's rotation. Since a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of November, Hield has shot exactly 50 percent from behind the three-point line on 94 shots.
In a recent interview with Jim Eichenhofer, Hield credits his trip back to Oklahoma, where he became a household name, when they played the Oklahoma City Thunder, as the time when his play improved. Hield's sharp shooting as an Oklahoma Sooners player in college made him one of the most highly sought after prospects in the 2016 NBA Draft. He was taken sixth overall by the Pelicans.
"I feel like it was a homecoming, something I needed. I feel like when I was down there, playing in that city, staying in that state, I just got revived," Hield said. "I was able to shoot the ball well, put some quick points up on the board. A couple games later, I just started shooting the ball well. I feel like that game helped me out, really."
Prior to facing the Thunder, Hield shot at just 23.7 percent from three-point range.
Hield has also benefited from the return of starters Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday. With both guards in the game, Hield has a lot more space to get his shots off, seeing that they attract so much attention. He added that his veteran teammates also played a major role in building his confidence during the slump.
"Jrue and Anthony, they always get on me, always give me the confidence and motivation to stay on point with everything I do," he said. "Hats off to my teammates and the coaching staff for giving me the confidence to shoot the ball well."
Hield is currently third amongst rookies in scoring, ninth in shooting percentage, fourth in three-point percentage and 12th in rebounding.
Going into last night's game against the Brooklyn Nets, the Grand Bahama native was averaging 9.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game so far. He is currently fourth on the Kia Rookie Ladder behind Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks and Dario Saric, also of the Sixers.
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