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Bahamian Athletes’ highlights in IAAF World Championships

  • Chandra Sturrup.

  • Debbie Ferguson- Mckenzie.

Published: Aug 31, 2013

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In reading the IAAF World Championships Statistics book for Moscow, some interesting things are revealed for Bahamian athletes.

After 28 years of these championships Joey Wells, one of the most versatile jumper sprinters in our history, remains the youngest ever athlete to participate in the long jump. Wells participated in the inaugural event in Helsinki. His date of birth was registered as December 22, 1965. At the time of participation, Wells was 17 years and 230 days.

Wells jumped a windy (2.5 mps) 7.69m (25’2-3/4”) for 19th place in the qualifying round, after having tied the Bahamian national record of 8.04m (26’4-1/4”) at the Central American and Caribbean Senior Championships in Havana the previous month.

Wells went on to finish sixth at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 with a jump of 7.97m (26’1-3/4”). That effort was done on his first attempt. He fouled his next two attempts and decided to quit after that due to an ankle injury. Wells never recovered from this injury enough to participate for The Bahamas after that.

He died some 10 years after participating in Helsinki.

What is not known by many is the fact that Wells presented an affidavit years afterward indicating that he was born in 1966 and not 1965. He was one of the most gifted athletes to ever don a Bahamian uniform.

Timothy Munnings claims the title of the oldest relay participant to win a championship when at 35 years and 51 days he anchored The Bahamas 4x400m relay team to victory in Edmonton in 2001.

Munnings is currently the director of sports in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.

In the booklet, both Lavern Eve in the javelin and Jackie Edwards in the long jump are registered as the female athletes with nine appearances at the World Championships. They were in third place in terms of appearances prior to the Moscow Championships.

Eve competed in Rome in 1987, Tokyo 1991, Gothenburg 1995, Athens 1997, Seville 1999, Edmonton 2001, Paris 2003, Helsinki 2005 and Osaka 2007.

In 2003, she finally made the final for the first time and finished eighth with a performance of 59.60m (19’6”).

Edwards participated in Tokyo in 1991, Stuttgart 1993, Gothenburg 1995, Athens 1997, Seville 1999, Edmonton 2001, Paris 2003, Helsinki 2005 and Osaka 2007.

Edwards made the final in her first appearance in Tokyo, finishing 10th with a jump of 6.37m (20’11”).

She finished ninth in Helsinki with a jump of 6.42m (21’1”) with a trailing wind of 2.9 mps.

Debbie Ferguson-Mckenzie and Chandra Sturrup have a total of eight performances in the statistics book.

For Sturrup, they are Gothenburg 1995, Athens 1997, Seville 1999, Edmonton 2001, Paris 2003, Helsinki 2005, Osaka 2007, Berlin 2009. She won a bronze medal in Edmonton, and a silver medal in Paris in the 100m. Sturrup was the first Bahamian to win a cash award in an IAAF competition when she finished second to Gail Devers in Paris, in 1998 in the 60m. Sturrup also won the 60m in the World Indoor Championships in 2001 in Portugal.

Ferguson-Mckenzie – Gothenburg 1995, Athens 1997, Seville 1999, Edmonton 2001, Paris 2003, Osaka 2007, Berlin 2009, Daegu 2011. Ferguson-McKenzie also competed in Moscow, now tying her with Eve and Edwards for number of performances.

Pauline Davis-Thompson has a total of seven appearances in the World Championships.

They are Helsinki 1983, Paris 1987, Tokyo 1991, Stuttgart 1993, Gothenburg 1995, Athens 1997 and Seville 1999.

She captured the silver medal in the 400m in Gothenburg and the gold medal in the 4x100m relay in Seville in 1999.

Davis-Thompson was a part of the 4x100m relay in Atlanta that won the silver medal and also a member of the 4x100m relay in Sydney that won the gold medal.

She won the 200m at the Sydney Games.

Davis-Thompson is now a council member of the IAAF since 2007 and is a consultant at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.

We thought you should be aware of these tidbits.


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