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Head coach pleased with Team Bahamas’ performance

  • George Cleare.

SHELDON LONGLEY
Guardian Sports Editor
slongley@nasguard.com

Published: Aug 19, 2013

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MOSCOW, Russia – The Bahamas didn’t win any medals at these 14th International Association of Athletic Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships here in Moscow, Russia, but Head Coach George Cleare still deemed the meet a success, in terms of the performances.

He said that he was very proud and pleased with the team’s performances considering that it was a young squad with not much experience at all. Chris Brown and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie were the only two true veterans on the 25-member squad.

“Heading into these world championships, I said on numerous occasions that this was a transitional phase for Team Bahamas,” said Cleare. “We have a lot of young, new talent, just getting involved at this level, and like any other sport, we’re re-building. I see a lot of young athletes who are going to be better next year, and by the time we get to 2015, they won’t be making the little mistakes that they made this time, and of course, they will be a little older and more seasoned as well.”

The Bahamas got strong individual performances from Shaunae Miller, Anthonique Strachan, Chris Brown who led by example, Donald Thomas and young Ryan Ingraham. All with the exception of Strachan and Brown made it to the finals of their respective events. Strachan finished ninth overall, and Brown was just two spots short, finishing 10th overall.

In addition, Miller, Strachan and Ingraham are all just 19-years-old.

“All of these young athletes are performing around the marks that we expected from them. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work in our favor this time in terms of medals, but we expect it to get better with the years to come,” said Cleare. “Also, we had some veterans coming down to the end of their careers so it was impossible for us to think that they would be at the level where they were 10-15 years ago. The fact that they were around 10-15 years ago shows the quality of athletes that they are.

“We have the depth and we are headed in the right direction. We have the youth that is going to keep this thing going for years to come. I’m pleased with that, and I am looking forward to the future.”

In the individual events, young Miller led the charge with her fourth place finish in the women’s 200 meters (m). Miller came from behind in the final 30-40 meters of the race to finish fourth in 22.74 seconds.

The next highest individual finish for The Bahamas came from former world champion Donald Thomas in the men’s high jump. Thomas had a best jump of 2.32m (7’ 7-1/4”) to finish sixth. He attempted to match Troy Kemp’s national record of 2.38m (7’ 9-3/4”), which could have given him a top three finish, but Thomas knocked the bar down on all three attempts.

Young Ryan Ingraham also made the final of the men’s high jump, clearing a height of 2.25m (7’ 4-1/2”) to finish in a three-way tie for 10th overall.

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