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Women’s 4x400m relay team ready to shock the world

  • Members of The Bahamas women's 4x400m relay team (from left), Miriam Byfield, Shakeitha Henfield, Cottrell Martin, Amara Jones and Lanece Clarke (partially hidden), chat with relay coach Tyrone Burrows during a training session at the warm-up track at the Luzhniki Big Sports Arena, in Moscow, Russia.

SHELDON LONGLEY
Guardian Sports Editor
slongley@nasguard.com

Published: Aug 15, 2013

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MOSCOW, Russia – With no Shaunae Miller, and even no Christine Amertil, nothing much is expected from The Bahamas’ women’s 4x400 meter (m) relay team at these championships.

However, one of the lead runners for that team, Shakeitha Henfield, said that they are ready to shock the world as they intend to qualify for the final of the event at these 14th International Association of Athletic Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships.

Despite the absence of the country’s fastest female quarter-miler, Miller, and veteran Amertil, who helped them to qualify in the first place, at the Penn Relays earlier this year, Henfield said that they are confident and will show what they could do when they step on to the track on Friday morning.

The team is inclusive of Henfield, Lanece Clarke, Amara Jones, Miriam Byfield and Cottrell Martin.

The team of Amertil, Jones, Martin and Clarke qualified at the Penn Relays in a time of 3:32.90, just a tenth of a second under the qualifying time for the worlds. The team of Henfield, Clarke, Byfield and Jones, in that order, ran 3:36.41 for a bronze medal at the Sr. Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships, in Morelia, Mexico, in July.

“I believe that it is going to take 3:30 or better for us to get into the final. If we could do that, we should be there,” said Henfield yesterday. “This team has what it takes to break the national record – I truly believe that. If we could do that, we’ll be in the final, so hopefully we could accomplish both goals at the same time.”

Four of the girls in the relay pool ran under 54 seconds at the BTC National Open Track and Field Championships in June. However, at the Sr. CAC Championships, Clarke was only able to turn in a time of 54.38 seconds for 11th overall, and Jones finished 15th overall, in 54.63 seconds. They ran more than a second faster at nationals, 53.03 and 53.52 seconds, for first and second respectively.

Henfield was third at the nationals, in 53.71 seconds, and Byfield finished fourth, in 53.83 seconds. Martin was fifth, in 54.10 seconds

“We want to prove what could be done if the work is put into it,” said Henfield yesterday. “We feel we could make the final and be just as good as the 4x100 meter team. We have a lot of young athletes coming up, and we’re ready to shock the world.”

The heats of the women’s 4x400m will be contested at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, here at the Luzhniki Big Sports Arena, the 1980 Olympic Stadium, in Moscow. The final is slated for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Coaches have up until an hour before the start of the heats on Friday to submit a line-up. It will be interesting to see what quartet they utilize.

 

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