|20 Bahamians are qualified for London!|
Guardian Sports Editor
Published: Jun 06, 2012
With about a month left in the qualifying period for track and field, and even less time for swimming, a total of 20 Bahamians have so far qualified for the 2012 London Summer Olympics - 19 in athletics and just one swimmer. Out of those 19 athletes in the sporting discipline of athletics, 13 have qualified at the ‘A’ standard and six at the ‘B’ standard. Additionally, six of those 19 athletes have qualified at the ‘A’ standard in two individual events, and the one swimmer, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, has achieved the Olympic qualifying time in two individual swimming events.
Also out of the number, there are a dozen male athletes and eight females. For the men, Grand Bahamians Demetrius Pinder and Michael Mathieu have both qualified at the ‘A’ standard, in both the 200 and 400 meters (m). Pinder has posted a qualifying time of 20.23 seconds in the 200m and 44.78 seconds in the 400m. Mathieu has a qualifying time of 20.16 seconds in the 200m and 45.06 seconds in the 400m. Joining them at the ‘A’ standard in the men’s 400m are national record holder Chris ‘The Fireman’ Brown
(44.79 seconds) and Ramon Miller (45.01 seconds). Qualifying at the ‘B’ standard in the men’s 400m is former World Champion Avard Moncur (45.86 seconds). The only other male sprinter to qualify for the London Olympics is national record holder in the men’s 100m Derrick Atkins. Atkins has a ‘B’ standard qualifying time of 10.24 seconds.
A total of three Bahamian high jumpers have posted qualifying heights for the London Olympics - two at the ‘A’ standard, and one at the ‘B’ standard. Former World Champion Donald Thomas and reigning World bronze medalist Trevor Barry have both cleared 2.32m (7’ 7-1/4”) to qualify for the London Olympics at the ‘A’ standard. The youngest Bahamian male to qualify for the London Olympics, Ryan Ingraham, has posted a ‘B’ qualifying height of 2.28m (7’ 5-3/4”). Ingraham is just 18-years-old and his personal best leap of 2.28m is the junior national record and is tied for the best jump in the world this year by a junior athlete.
Back on the track, national record holder in the men’s 110m hurdles, Shamar Sands, has posted a ‘B’ qualifying time of 13.56 seconds.
The only other male field athletes to qualify for the London Olympics is triple jumper ‘Superman’ Leevan Sands with a ‘A’ qualifying distance of 17.21m (56’ 5-3/4”), and long jumper Raymond Higgs with a ‘B’ qualifying distance of 8.15m (26’ 9”). Sands is the only Bahamian individual medalist from the last Olympics in Beijing, China. He won a bronze medal for the country with a national record setting leap of 17.59m (57’ 8-1/2”).
In swimming, Vanderpool-Wallace has posted qualifying times in the 50m Free (24.79 seconds) and 100m Free (54.46 seconds).
Back in athletics, seven females have qualified for the games - six at the ‘A’ standard and just one at the ‘B’ standard. The youngest Bahamian female to qualify for the games, Shaunae Miller, has done so at the ‘A’ standard in two individual events. At just 18-years-old, Miller has posted qualifying times of 22.70 seconds in the 200m, and 51.24 seconds in the 400m. The blazing time in the 200m ties Anthonique Strachan’s junior national record and is the fastest time by a junior female athlete in that event this year. On the topic of Strachan, she has also qualified for the London Olympics at the ‘A’ standard in two individual events. She has a qualifying time of 11.22 seconds in the 100m and 22.70 seconds in the 200m.
Two other Bahamian female athletes have qualified for the London Olympics at the ‘A’ standard in two events. They are Sheniqua Ferguson and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, both in the 100 and 200m. Ferguson has qualifying times of 11.07 seconds in the 100m and 22.64 seconds in the 200m while Ferguson-McKenzie has posted qualifying times of 11.09 seconds and 22.76 seconds in the two sprinting events.
Joining them at the ‘A’ standard in the 200m is Grand Bahamian Nivea Smith, making it five Bahamians who have qualified at the ‘A’ standard in the women’s 200m. Smith has a qualifying time of 22.80 seconds. Also qualifying for the London Olympics for the women’s 200m, but at the ‘B’ standard, is Savannah State senior Amara Jones. Jones has a ‘B’ standard qualifying time of 23.28 seconds.
The only other Bahamian to qualify for the Olympics is long jumper Bianca Stuart. Stuart has an ‘A’ standard qualifying leap of 6.81m (22’ 4-1/4”).
The only relay team sitting in the top 16 qualifying spots is the men’s 4x400m relay team, which is currently listed eighth with an aggregate time of 6:01.89, averaging 3:00.94 over two races. The women’s 4x100m relay team is the only other relay squad listed in the top 20. That team is tied with Switzerland for 17th with an aggregate time of 87.71, averaging 43.86 seconds over two races. Poland is in the 16th spot with an aggregate time of 87.55, averaging 43.78 seconds over two races. Only the top 16 aggregate times, over two races, would qualify for the Olympics.
In 2008, 25 Bahamians represented The Bahamas at the Beijing Olympic Games. So far, 20 Bahamians are qualified for London. Time is running out for the athletes though. The deadline for swimmers to qualify for individual events is June 18, and the deadline for track and field athletes to qualify for individual events is July 8. For the relays, the time has already expired for swimming thus ending any hope that this would be the first year that a Bahamian relay squad would qualify for the Olympics in swimming, and for track and field, the deadline for relay teams is July 2. In swimming, the women’s 4x100m Free relay team ended the qualifying period in the 21st spot. The top 12 from last year’s FINA World Championships along with the next four fastest times qualified for the London Olympic Games.
The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) has released a statement saying that the names of the athletes who have made the qualifying standards plus those for the relay teams will be ratified by the BAAA after the National Open Track and Field Championships and submitted to the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC). The BAAA Nationals Championships are set for June 22-23 at the new Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.