Demetrius Pinder in elite territory
Demetrius Pinder, a 22-year-old Grand Bahamian and senior at Texas A&M University, is poised to make a big statement on the world stage of sprinting.
His success in recent weeks, competing in the United States against some of the best in the world over 400 and 200 meters(m) is one of the great story lines for Grand Bahama and The Bahamas, but that island in particular.
Stricken by the economic downturn, there are not too many situations for Grand Bahamians to be happy about, presently. The Grand Bahama Port Authority is still a big question mark with a sale pending. The anchor institution in Grand Bahama seems to still be paralyzed by infighting and has not been fueling the economy as it once did.
No, there is not a lot to be upbeat about in Grand Bahama today, compared to the thriving island it once was, but, there is Demetrius Pinder, a true feel-good story.
Just how fellow Grand Bahamian native Sherman ‘Tank’ Williams captivated the attention of much of the world in January when he easily outclassed Evander Holyfield in a match declared a none contest because it did not last the minimum amount of rounds (four), Pinder is making a big name for himself and his country.
Accordingly, all of Grand Bahama can be proud of his feats. At least they can celebrate the sporting prowess of the island. Pinder has emerged as one of the world’s very special competitors on the track this year. His credentials are sparkling.
Two weeks ago, he became the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Indoor Champion in the 400m, clocking 45.33 seconds.
Last weekend, at the Arizona State Invitational, Pinder defeated the world’s brightest star in the 400m for the last 10 years. He clocked 20.54 seconds and beat World and Olympic Champion Jeremy Wariner in the process.
The two will certainly hook up later this year at the International Association of Athletic Federations'(IAAF)World Championships in Daegu, South Korea(August 27-September 4).
Beating the American standout is a big confidence booster for the native Grand Bahamian. The 20.54 time was also especially significant because it took Pinder all the way up to the No. 2 spot in the world for the event. He now follows only Jamaica’s Yohan Blake (20.39).
Actually, the top six sprinters on the world’s 200m list are from the Caribbean (Jamaica and The Bahamas). Joining Pinder in the group for The Bahamas is Michael Matthieu, the former Southwest Christian College sensation. Matthieu is also from Grand Bahama.
Matthieu is fourth on the world’s list at 20.62 seconds. Jamaicans Leford Green (20.61), Kenroy Anderson (20.66) and Edino Steele (20.71)are third, fifth and sixth on the list. Pinder and Matthieu are indeed in elite company.
Best wishes to them both.