The Bahamas’ World Championships team - history and prospects
Published: Aug 01, 2013
The Bahamas has participated in all 13 International Association of Athletic Federations’ (IAAF) World Outdoor Championships, since 1983 in Helsinki to 2011 in Daegu, South Korea.
The first medals won by The Bahamas were a gold by Troy Kemp in the men’s high jump and a silver by Pauline Davis-Thompson in the women’s 400 meters (m) in 1995 in Gothenburg, Sweden. At the last championships, Trevor Barry captured a bronze medal in the men’s high jump. This year’s championships will be held in Moscow, Russia, from August 10-18.
Overall, The Bahamas has won seven gold medals, five silver medals and seven bronze medals for an overall total of 19 medals.
1995 - Gothenburg - Troy Kemp - high jump - 2.37m (7’ 9-1/4”); 1999 - Seville - ‘Golden Girls’ (Savetheda Fynes, Chandra Sturrup, Pauline Davis-Thompson, Debbie Ferguson and Eldece Clarke) - 4x100m relay - 41.92 seconds; 2001 - Edmonton - Avard Moncur - 400m - 44.64 seconds; Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie - 200m - 22.52 seconds; Avard Moncur, Chris Brown, Troy McIntosh, Tim Munnings and Carl Oliver - 4x400m relay - 2:58.19; 2005 - Helsinki - Tonique Williams-Darling - 400m - 49.55 seconds; 2007 - Osaka - Donald Thomas - high jump - 2.35m (7’ 8-1/2”).
1995 - Gothenburg - Pauline Davis-Thompson - 400m - 49.96 seconds; 2005 - Helsinki - Nathaniel McKinney, Avard Moncur, Andrae Williams, Chris Brown and Troy McIntosh - 4x400m relay - 2:57.32; 2007 - Osaka - Derrick Atkins - 100m - 9.91 seconds; Avard Moncur, Michael Mathieu, Andrae Williams, Chris Brown and Nathaniel McKinney - 4x400m relay - 2:59.18; 2009 - Helsinki - Sheniqua Ferguson, Chandra Sturrup, Christine Amertil and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie - 4x100m relay - 42.29 seconds.
1997 - Athens - Savetheda Fynes - 100m - 11.03 seconds; 2001 - Edmonton - Chandra Sturrup - 100m - 11.02 seconds; 2003 - Paris - Chandra Sturrup - 100m - 11.02 seconds; Leevan Sands - triple jump - 17.26m (56’ 7-1/2”); Avard Moncur, Dennis Darling, Nathaniel McKinney, Chris Brown and Carl Oliver - 4x400m relay - 3:00.53; 2009 - Berlin - Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie - 200m - 22.41 seconds; 2011 - Daegu - Trevor Barry - high jump - 2.32m (7’ 7-1/4”).
The Bahamas has won a medal at every IAAF World Outdoor Championships since 1995!
Prospects for Moscow men’s 4x400m relay
The Bahamas is highest ranked in the men’s 4x400m relay, which they won at the London Olympic Games. Demetrius Pinder has been injured since April and will not participate. At the moment, they rank fourth with a time of 3:02.23 that was ran at the Penn Relays in April. The team consisted of Ramon Miller, Michael Mathieu, Chris Brown and Stephen Newbold.
Two athletes have been added to the squad. LaToy Williams ran a 400m ‘A’ standard qualifying time of 45.26 seconds at the BTC National ‘Open’ Track and Field Championships in Grand Bahama. Newcomer Wesley Neymour ran 45.54 seconds. The team of Williams, Neymour, Ojay Ferguson and hurdler Jeffery Gibson captured the silver medal at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Senior Championships in July in a time of 3:02.26.
At the Berlin World Championships, the team was disqualified in the heats for running out of the exchange zone. In Daegu, two years ago, the team just missed the final after sitting out Chris Brown and Demetrius Pinder in the heats. In the last three championships, it took 3:00.97 to qualify for the final in Daegu, 3:02.36 to qualify in Berlin, and 3:02.49 to qualify in Osaka. Track and Field News has predicted The Bahamas to capture the silver medal in Moscow. One thing they must do is to run well in the heats and final.
Strachan, the IAAF Rising Star for 2012 is ranked fifth in the 200m with a clocking of 22.32 seconds, done at the BTC National ‘Open’ Championships in Grand Bahama in June. Just this past weekend Strachan finished in third place at the London Diamond League meet in 22.63 seconds.
Miller won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Indoor Championships title in March and finished with a best of 50.70 seconds for a personal best time in second place at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Her 50.70 seconds places her in 14th place worldwide. The University of Georgia student has decided to participate in Moscow in the 200m. In this event, her personal best, ran in Grand Bahama, is 22.45 seconds. This places her in 12th place worldwide. She has not run since the BTC National ‘Open’ Championships. In the last three championships the minimum qualifying time for the final was 22.85 seconds in Daegu, 22.64 seconds in Berlin, and 22.78 seconds in Osaka. Both Shaunae and Anthonique have an opportunity to advance to the final. Both will have to run near or better than their best. Once they reach the final, it is a different ball game. To win a medal, each will have to run personal best times.
The only time that a Bahamian won a medal in this event was in 2001 in Edmonton when Avard Moncur won the gold. Chris Brown has been close several times, finishing in fourth a couple times. This year, Ramon Miller has the best time by a Bahamian, 44.93 seconds, done at the nationals in Grand Bahama. He has also run well on the professional circuit.
Michael Mathieu (45.21 seconds), Chris Brown (45.24 seconds) and LaToy Williams (45.26 seconds) have all run the ‘A’ standard for this event. At this time, Mathieu’s choice is not known. He has an ‘A’ standard qualifying performance in the 200m of 20.35 seconds. Mathieu’s 400 time ranks him 21st and his 200m time ranks him 32nd. Which one would you run if you were Michael? The Bahamas is still hoping for a medal in this event.
Men’s 4x100m relay
The Bahamas’ 4x100m relay team of Jamial Rolle, Trevorvano Mackey, Adrian Griffith and Shavez Hart won the Sr. CAC title in Morelia, Mexico last month with a new Bahamian national record of 38.77 seconds. This qualified them for Moscow and places them eighth in this year’s list. To qualify for the final in Moscow they will have to run faster, judging by the times ran in the last three championships.
In Daegu, the slowest time advancing to the final was 38.47 seconds. In Berlin, it was 38.72 seconds and in Osaka it was 38.70 seconds. An alternate on the team is Warren Fraser who participated in the 100m in London last year but is now recuperating from an injury. The goal of this team should be to advance to the final and run another Bahamian national record.
Women’s long jump
Bianca Stuart’s best this season is 6.73m (22’ 1”), done in Dakar in June. Just last week in London, she jumped 6.46m (21’ 2-1/2”) to win the silver medal in the London Diamond League meet. To advance to the final she has to either jump the ‘A’ standard of 6.75m (22’ 1-3/4”) or finish in the top 12. In the last three championships, it took 6.44m (21’ 1-1/2”) in Daegu, 6.52m (21’ 4-3/4”) in Berlin, and 6.59m (21’ 7-1/2”) in Osaka to advance to the final. Stuart should be able to do that. Her personal best from 2011 is 6.81m (22’ 4-1/4”), a new Bahamian national record.
Men’s high jump
Donald Thomas has not had a great year but made the 2.31m (7’ 6-3/4”) ‘A’ standard a few weeks prior to the deadline. He is the 2007 World Champion with a best of 2.35m (7’ 8-1/2”). Ryan Ingraham is the World Junior bronze medalist from Barcelona in 2011. His best is 2.30m (7’ 6-1/2”). This will be his first trip to the “Big Leagues”. As in the women’s long jump, each of them has to make the 2.31m qualifying standard or finish in the top 12 in the qualifying round. This is a particularly competitive event this year.
Gibson will be the first Bahamian to participate in the 400m hurdles since Greg Rolle and David Charlton in the inaugural championships in 1983. He has qualified at the ‘A’ standard with a new national record of 49.39 seconds. Gibson has a great chance of advancing to the semi-final rounds but he would have to break his personal best by nearly a second to make the final.
Ferguson has run well this season and concentrated on the shorter sprint. Her best time this season is 11.18 seconds. This can advance her to the semi-final but she has to do much better than her season’s best to advance to the final.
Ferguson is competing in the 100m, her weaker event. She has run 11.32 seconds this year. She might be able to advance to the semi-final but not the final in this event. This will probably be Ferguson-McKenzie’s last time out for The Bahamas.
For the very first time in history, The Bahamas has qualified in all four relays. The women’s 4x100m relay has Sheniqua Ferguson, Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, Nivea Smith, Cache Armbrister and Shaunae Miller in their pool. There is a slight opportunity for them to advance to the final if they are able to handle to passes well.
In the women’s 4x400m relay, there is no chance for them to advance to the final unless they are able to smash the national record. The team of Lanece Clarke, Amara Jones, Shakeitha Henfield, Miriam Byfield and Cottrell Martin just do not have the leg speed to advance. The Miller camp has decided not to participate in this event.
Summary of prospects
It is believed that The Bahamas will win at least one medal again this time as the country has done since 1995. Our chances are best in the men’s 4x400m relay which we won in London. As in all things, some athletes will do their best, some better than their best and some below their best. Let us encourage the entire Bahamian team to do their best in Moscow and send them our love.
We all remember the outburst of nationalism when the ‘Golden Knights’ won in London last year. Let us have that pride and spirit even if we do not win in Moscow.
Correction: Last week we wrote that Reese Hoffa was not on the USA team. Contrary to that report he is on the USA team.