|Let the Olympic Trials begin!|
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Jun 22, 2012
There is no doubt that the open women’s 100 meters (m) will be one of the most anticipated races at the BTC/Scotiabank Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) Olympic Trials, this weekend at the Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium. Three Bahamian female athletes have already dipped under the Olympic Games ‘A’ standard of 11.29 seconds.
While much hype is surrounding the open men’s 400m, the competition will be intense in the women’s 100m. The stacked field of athletes includes national record holder Chandra Sturrup, Sheniqua Ferguson and Anthonique Strachan.
Veteran Sturrup has a national record time of 10.84 seconds and Ferguson has a season’s best of 11.07 seconds. Strachan proved that she can no longer be called the “cub” in the pack, with her impressive time of 11.22 seconds this season. Former Olympic athlete Timicka Clarke doesn’t have a seed time posted, but cannot be counted out. Junior athlete Carmiesha Cox is entered in the field as well. The women’s 100m is up first today. The final will be ran later tonight.
National record holder Chris Brown and National Champion Demetrius Pinder are expected to go head-to-head in the men’s 400m. Both have ran the ‘A’ standard, of 45.30 seconds. Ramon Miller has also ran the ‘A’ standard and is expected to provide stiff competition. Avard Moncur has dipped under the ‘B’ qualifying time of 45.90 seconds. Olympic relay silver medalists from Beijing, Andretti Bain and Andrae Williams, are also entered and are ready to turn up the heat. It was not confirmed, by press time, if O’Jay Ferguson will remain in the 400m race for junior athletes or if he will contest the open men’s division. The decision was to be made by coach Dexter Bodie at the final scratch meeting last night.
Ferguson has a season’s best of 46.14 seconds. He has already qualified for the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Junior Championships. Both preliminary rounds for the open and junior 400m races will run today. The finals will take place on Saturday.
The trials will also serve as the last qualifying meet for junior athletes searching to make the IAAF World Junior Championships team. Shane Jones will set into the blocks of the junior men’s 100m, with a seed time of 10.41 seconds. Both Johnathan Farquharson and Teray Smith are listed at 10.42 seconds. The qualifying time is 10.64 seconds.
The open women’s 400m will put World Junior and World Youth Champion Shaunae Miller up against former Olympic 400m finalist Christine Amertil. Miller has the fastest seed time, 51.25 seconds. Collegian Amara Jones has a seed time of 52.43 seconds, and Lanece Clarke has a best of 52.71 seconds this season. Amertil has yet to post a time in the 400m. This is also the case for Cache Armbrister. The qualifying times for the Olympic Games are 51.55 seconds for the ‘A’ standard and 52.35 seconds for the ‘B’ standard.
Nathan Arnett and Jeffery Gibson will need to shave a few tenths of a second off their time if they want to make the final cut for the Olympic Games. The qualifying time for the men’s 400m hurdles is 49.50 seconds. Arnett has a season’s best of 50.29 seconds and Gibson has a season’s best of 50.69 seconds.
National record holder in the men’s 100m Derrick Atkins and Warren Fraser have both qualified at the ‘A’ standard for the Olympic Games. In just his third meet this season, Atkins clocked 10.09 second and Fraser has a best on the season of 10.18 seconds. Trevorvano Mackey will also look to make the cut. He has a season’s best time of 10.31 seconds.
So far, Ivanique Kemp has ran the ‘B’ standard in the women’s 100m hurdles, a time of 13.13 seconds. The ‘A’ standard is 12.96 seconds. Shamar Sands has qualified at the ‘B’ standard, running 13.56 seconds this season.
The women’s 200m will not include national record holder Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, so Ferguson and Strachan will lead the field of runners looking to go under the qualifying times of 23.10 seconds and 23.30 seconds respectively. Ferguson-McKenzie, Ferguson and Strachan have already qualified, having ran well below the ‘A’ standard. Also set to run the 200m this weekend will be Marlena Wesh of Republic of Haiti, 23.06 seconds, and Karene King, from the British Virgin Islands, with a seed time of 23.27 seconds.
Opting out of the men’s 400m was Michael Mathieu. The new national record holder in the men’s 200m will contest that event. He and Shavez Hart are the top two seeds. Mathieu has a national record seed time of 20.16 seconds and Hart has a wind-aided seed time of 20.24 seconds. Mathieu and Ramon Miller have ran under the ‘A’ standard. Miller has a season’s best of 20.50 seconds.
The field events are expected to provide just as must thrills as the track events. It may just come down to who is feeling more like ‘Superman’ in the men’s high jump event. Reigning World Championships bronze medalist Trevor Barry and former World Champion Donald Thomas have qualified at the ‘A’ standard for the Olympic Games. The ‘A’ standard is 2.31m. Young Ryan Ingraham has qualified at the ‘B’ standard of 2.28m.
Raymond Higgs has a wind-aided jump of 8.36m in the men’s long jump this year. He is the sole Bahamian qualifier for the Olympic Games in that event. Leevan Sands has a season’s best of 16.99m in the men’s triple jump. He has already qualified for the Olympic Games at the ‘A’ standard.