|Mackey confirmed for Olympic team|
Guardian Sports Editor
Published: Jul 17, 2012
It was originally thought that Trevorvano Mackey made the ‘A’ standard in the men’s 200 meters (m) for the Olympic Games by about half hour before the London deadline. However, according to reports, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) stated that the 12 midday deadline on July 8 was based on the actual time in London, England - Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) plus one - and not Eastern Standard Time (EST) here in The Bahamas nor Central Daylight Time (CDT) in Guanajuato, Mexico, where Mackey was competing.
Mackey dipped below the ‘A’ standard, 20.55 seconds, by running a blistering 20.52 seconds in to a headwind at the North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Under-23 Championships in Guanajuato, Mexico. That stunning performance came in the men’s 200m final and earned him a fourth place finish. More importantly, it was thought to have solidified his spot on The Bahamas’ Olympic team.
According to Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) Secretary General Romell ‘Fish’ Knowles, the matter of Mackey qualifying in time or not was a ‘bone of contention’ with LOCOG, but thankfully, they eventually ruled in The Bahamas’ favor.
“Initially, LOCOG was actually suggesting that it was 12 o’clock their time and not 12 o’clock our time. Obviously, there was a communication issue somewhere,” said Knowles. “Thankfully, it eventually worked out in The Bahamas’ favor. They had said originally that they communicated it effectively but it wasn’t clear at all, especially on our end. Some of the people in LOCOG actually thought it was 12 o’clock wherever you are in the world, and that helped our case a lot. In the end, LOCOG accommodated us and that was cool.”
Mackey’s addition to Team Bahamas lifted the total number of athletes on the squad to 24 - 23 in track and field, and just one swimmer - Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace.
After he qualified on the final day of the 18-month long qualifying period, BOC officials rushed to have his name added to the entry list so that it can be approved by LOCOG. The deadline for submission of the entry list to LOCOG was 12 midnight July 9, based on the actual time in London. Mackey qualified around 11:30 a.m. in the men’s 200m final at the NACAC Under-23 Championships on July 8, in Mexico. That was around 5:30 p.m. in London.
“One of the main challenges that we had was that Mackey’s name wasn’t originally on the long list,” said Knowles. “We made it a point to get all of his documentation filed at the last minute to ensure that he was on the Olympic team. LOCOG was very accommodating and eventually they allowed us to add him to the team.”
Including Mackey, half of The Bahamas’ 24-member Olympic team is under 25 years of age. With such a potent youth movement on the country’s most acclaimed athletic squad, Knowles is extremely optimistic for the future of sports in The Bahamas.
“We noticed that there was a lot of transitioning this year. A lot of young people qualified for these Olympics and that bodes well for the future - that was very encouraging,” said Knowles. “We are definitely headed in the right direction. In 2016, I think that we will perhaps have one of our strongest Olympic teams ever. A lot of these young guys have no idea of what to expect right now, because they have never been to the Olympic Games. This is set to be an eye-opening experience for many of them, so that if and when they return in 2016, they will have that experience under their belts.”
The Games of the 30th Olympiad are set to commence July 27 in London, England, and will run through August 12 in the British capital. Swimmer Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace will be the first to see action for the 24-member team. She is set to swim in the heats of the 100-meter Free on Wednesday August 1, at the newly built Aquatics Centre in London.