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‘Fireman’ looking to lead young squad in Moscow

The ‘Golden Knights’ will be challenged with the absence of Pinder
  • Chris ‘The Fireman’ Brown is optimistic that the men’s 4x400m relay team, and The Bahamas on the whole, will perform well at the 14th IAAF World Outdoor Championships, which gets underway this Saturday, in Moscow, Russia. FILE

Guardian Sports Editor

Published: Aug 06, 2013

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The Bahamas’ 27-member team - 12 women and 15 men - is on its way to Moscow, Russia, and one of the more senior members of the squad, Chris ‘The Fireman’ Brown, is looking to lead by example.

Before departing for Moscow, Brown said that his goal is just to go out there and do what he always does, which is give it his all and allow God to do the rest. The national record holder in the men’s 400 meters (m) has qualified ‘A’ standard for the Moscow World Championships, and is expected to figure prominently into the relay picture as well, especially with top quarter-miler Demetrius Pinder sitting out this year with a hamstring injury.

About half of The Bahamas’ 27-member team is under 25 years of age, and with Pinder out of the mix for the relay, the remaining ‘Golden Knights’ - Brown, Michael Mathieu and Ramon Miller - will have to depend on young guns like LaToy Williams, Wesley Neymour and Ojay Ferguson.

“We just have to basically be on the same page, and know what we’re capable of doing,” said Brown. “I just hope that we could represent the country well and come out with a medal. This team still has a lot of experience and guys who know how to get the job done. Demetrius will be a big loss but I think the other guys will step up to the plate and perform well. We’re the favorites now, so everyone will be coming for us. We just have to stay focused and go out there and do what we do best.”

Brown, Pinder, Mathieu and Miller, in that order, ran a new national record of 2:56.72 at last year’s Olympic Games in London, England, for the gold medal. However, two years ago in Daegu, South Korea, the team failed to make the final at the 13th IAAF Worlds as the team of Miller, Avard Moncur, Andrae Williams and LaToy Williams ran 3:01.54 in the heats. For the same reason, coaches decided to sit out Brown, Pinder and Mathieu in the heats. Last year in London, they took no chances as Brown, Pinder, Mathieu and Miller ran the heats and the final.

This year’s world championships will get underway on Saturday morning in Moscow, and will run until Sunday August 18. The heats of the men’s 4x400m will run Thursday August, 15, and the final will be held the following day. As for the men’s open 400m, the heats will run on Sunday morning, the semis will be held on Monday evening, and the final will be the final event on the track on Tuesday night. Brown qualified for the world championships ‘A’ standard by running a time of 45.24 seconds at the Meeting Areva Diamond League Meet in Paris on July 6. Three other Bahamians have qualified ‘A’ standard in the men’s 400m this year though - Miller (44.93), Mathieu (45.21) and LaToy Williams (45.26). Miller and Williams beat Brown at the BTC Open National Championships, and Mathieu opted not to run. Brown is still confident he’ll be entered to run the open 400m in Moscow.

“I’m expecting to be entered in the 400m,” he said. “Right now, I’m just taking everything in stride and having fun. I pray that I could get on the podium, but I’m just going to allow God to work with me, and whatever He has in store for me, I’ll gladly accept.”

Brown said this team might be a young one, but he feels good about their chances of winning a medal, and continuing a trend of at least one medal for The Bahamas at every International Association of Athletic Federations’ (IAAF) World Outdoor Championships since 1995 - a string of nine straight world championships.

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