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Sheniqua Ferguson flying under the radar

Former world junior champ looking to make her presence felt in Moscow
  • Sheniqua Ferguson is the only Bahamian female to run under the ‘A’ standard for Moscow World Championships in the 100m, and she has done it twice. She won the national title in Freeport, Grand Bahama on Friday, running a season’s best time of 11.18 seconds. TNG FILE PHOTO

SHELDON LONGLEY
Guardian Sports Editor
slongley@nasguard.com

Published: Jun 26, 2013

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Back in New Providence for a few days after a promising run at the BTC Open National Championships in Freeport, Grand Bahama over the weekend, Sheniqua ‘Q’ Ferguson is gradually unwinding and spending some much needed time with her family.

Don’t be misled though... she is definitely focused and ready for the stretch run. Last year, she looked good early in the season, running a lifetime best 11.07 seconds in her first race of the season. Ferguson had arrived and was eagerly anticipating a coming out party at the London Olympics. However, shortly afterwards, Ferguson suffered a sore right hamstring and was never the same for the rest of the season.

This year, she is focused on peaking at the right time. She easily won the women’s 100 meters (m) at the nationals over the weekend, and is optimistic that she will continue to get even faster as the world championships approaches. The 11.18 time was the third fastest of her career, and easily the fastest by a Bahamian sprinter this year.

“It was a real good race for me, and I’m just glad that I came out with that time. I’m very happy with it,” said Ferguson yesterday. “I know that I still have a lot of work to do going into worlds and other meets but I’m ready for it. The goal this year is to get stronger and faster as the year goes along. Last year, I ran very fast at the first couple meets of the season, and then after that, I got hurt and couldn’t come back into form. This year, me and my coach worked on some things where I started running fast times coming down to the end of the season.”

Ferguson is the only Bahamian female to dip under ‘A’ standard for Moscow World Championships in the 100m, and she has done it twice. The 14th International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships are just six and a half weeks away, August 10-18, in Moscow, Russia. Ferguson said that her goal is to make the final of the women’s 100m, and hopefully run a personal best time.

“The 11.0’s are definitely in me. I just have to go back to Auburn and work on a few things,” she said. “I have a few more meets before worlds, so hopefully I can get around those fast times at those meets. I know where I’m at and what I want to run. I just want to go out there and get better with every race. When I look at the other times at the Jamaican and US Trials, they’re great times but I know that once you line up on the track, everyone starts at zero. You have to go out there and run when the time is right. The times at the Jamaican and US Trials are always impressive because they have a lot of competition and then there is always a large crowd. In The Bahamas, we need more support so that we could have the motivation to run really fast.”

Cache Armbrister was second behind Ferguson in that 100m final in Freeport, in a personal best time of 11.44 seconds. Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie was third in 11.50 seconds. It was the first time that both athletes had beaten Ferguson-McKenzie in an individual event. Also, it was the first senior national title for Ferguson. She is a former World Junior Champion and a former National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Indoor Champion over 200m, but had never won a senior national title here at home.

“A lot of us are ready to step up in the women’s sprints. Debbie and Chandra have been carrying the banner for a while, and I think that it’s time that myself and Anthonique (Strachan) and others step up. We’re ready for the challenge,” said Ferguson. “Every time that I step on the track, I want to win. I was competing with Debbie from as young as I could remember, and this is my first time beating her. It was great going out there and running with her, and Chandra as well with her being retired now. This weekend, I just executed and came out with the win. It was real good running against and beating Debbie. I love her and she loves me. I’m just happy that everyone finished the race healthy, and we could now work on the things that we need to work on.”

Ferguson leaves for Auburn, Alabama on Friday, where she trains under the watchful eyes of Bahamian coach Henry Rolle. She has made the semi-final in the 100m at the World Championships and Olympics in successive years, in 2011 and 2012, and is now looking to take it a step further. At 23, the time is now for Ferguson. She hopes to put the world on notice that she has arrived and is about to explode on the senior scene.

What better time to do it than on the world’s biggest stage for athletics this year, the Moscow World Championships.

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