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World rankings give indication of Bahamas IAAF relay chances

Sports Scope
FRED STURRUP

Published: Oct 21, 2013

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The inaugural International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Relays competition is scheduled for May 24-25 here in The Bahamas, at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.

How will The Bahamas fare?

The events are the 4x100 meters (m), the 4x200m, the 4x400m, the 4x800m and the 4x1500m. The Bahamas is likely to be represented only in the sprint relays. Frankly, those are where there are realistic chances for success.

Let’s look at current All-Athletics World Rankings in the individual men’s 400 meters and the 100 and 200 events for the women.

In the men’s 400 meters, American LaShawn Merritt leads the pack with 1,421 points followed by Grenada’s Kirani James (1386), American Tony McQuay (1341), Liguelin Santos (1329) of the Dominican Republic, Youssef Ahmed Masrahi (1323) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Pavel Maslak (1322) of the Czech Republic, Jonathon Borlee (1318) of Belgium, Kevin Borlee (1276) of Belgium, American Josh Mance (1269) and Nigel Levine (1264) of Great Britain rounding out the top 10 ranked quartermilers in the world.

The Bahamas has just two in the top 20. The eternal one, Chris Brown, is ranked 13th with 1,237 points, and Ramon Miller occupies the 17th position with 1,124 points. The other two members of the 2012 Olympics gold medal winning 1600 meters relay team are Demetrius Pinder and Michael Mathieu. Pinder pulled up during the inaugural Chris Brown Bahamas invitational in April and was finished for the season.

Mathieu concentrated more on the 200 meters rather than his true specialty this past season. However, the country and the world know what those two are capable of when in shape. Then, there is a list of other credible Bahamian 400-meter runners to consider.

What are The Bahamas’ chances in the 1,600-meter relay next year?

Barring any mishap, we’ll make the final and be a favorite for one of the top three medals. The United States of course is the country presently favored. Great Britain, Trinidad, Belgium and Jamaica are also early picks to do well in the event as well.

Sheniqua Ferguson (ranked 35th) is the lone Bahamian female sprinter ranked in the top 50 on the world’s 100 meters list. Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie and Cache Armbrister are among five runners tied at 90th.

In the world’s 200 meters ranking, Shaunae Miller (1,279 points) is ranked 8th and Anthonique Strachan (1,241) holds down the 14th spot along with Anneisha Strachan of Jamaica. Nivea Smith (1,122) is ranked 99th, tied with Haley Jones of Great Britain.

The view here is that if there is a strong focus on the 4X400m relay for men and the two short sprint relays for women, the Bahamas could reach the final in all of them.

We must seize the moment however.

• To respond to this column, contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com.


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