June 28, 2021
Just about all of the top athletic stars in the country showed up to compete this past weekend, and the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) put on a thrilling national championships event at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
Despite the threat of COVID-19, athletes came out and showed just how hard they have been working over the past two years in attempts to qualify for the Olympics and major regional and world competitions and also to maintain fitness levels and stay relevant in their respective disciplines in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stealing the spotlight over the weekend was a couple of junior standouts who both broke national records and solidified their positions on The Bahamas’ World Athletics (WA) World Under-20 Championships team, and Anthonique Strachan who became the ninth Bahamian, and fourth Bahamian in the women’s 200 meters (m), to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Strachan finished second in the women’s 200m at the 2021 BAAA National Junior and Senior Track and Field Championships on Sunday, crossing the finish line in 22.76 seconds. Shaunae Miller-Uibo won in 22.18 seconds. The qualifying time for the Olympics is 22.80 seconds.
“I haven’t been running much so to come here for nationals and do what I did, I feel pretty good about it,” said Strachan. “It feels awesome. Now, I don’t have to worry or wait for someone to let me know if I would make the quota for the team. I achieve the standard and I feel good about it. I just want to thank all of the ladies who came out and participated and gave me a push. They helped me, they helped Shaunae and they helped the federation and The Bahamas. Thank you all so much for the support, and hopefully, we could make The Bahamas proud in the women’s 200 in Tokyo.”
Keyshawn Strachan and Wendell Miller, both still high school athletes at St. John’s College, rewrote The Bahamas’ national record books in the javelin and 400 meters (m) events, respectively.
Strachan, 17, tossed the javelin 71.62m (234’ 11”), breaking The Bahamas’ junior and senior national records. The previous junior record of 69.94m (229’ 5”) was set more than 30 years ago, by Kevin Smith in 1989; and the former senior national mark of 70.72m (232’) was done by Eleuthera native Denzel Pratt at the Big South Championships in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2017.
Strachan, of Blue Chip Athletics, had three throws over 70m (229’ 8”) – the senior national record setting throw, which came on his final attempts, a 70.25m (230’ 6”) effort on his first attempt, and another throw that measured 70.55m (231’ 5”).
“I was training pretty hard for this and I expected to do well,” said Strachan. “I had a goal to come out here and break the record and I was able to do that. I just want to thank my coach, my family and my supporters and everyone who was there for me from the beginning. I really appreciate that. I just wanted to go out there and execute and I couldn’t be more happy with the result. It feels great. I waited a whole year for this. I just want to continue to get better.”
Miller, 18, ran 45.81 seconds in the men’s 400m to break The Bahamas junior national record of 45.94 seconds that was done Stephen “Dirty” Newbold at the CARIFTA Games in 2013. World Champion Steven Gardiner won in 44.52 seconds. Grand Bahamian Alonzo Russell was third in 46.31 seconds.
Click here to read more at The Nassau Guardian