Men’s relay squad looking to make amends
DAEGU, South Korea – It was in the qualifying round of the Men’s 4×400-meter (m) relay two years ago, when The Bahamas’ team was disqualified… and the two men who were at the center of that crucial exchange are determined to make amends.
Avard Moncur and LaToy Williams might not get to run the final here at these 13th International Association of Athletic Federations’ (IAAF)
World Outdoor Championships in Daegu, South Korea, but there’s a good chance they’ll be called upon to run the rounds. Both men are eager to contribute in any way that they could, to ensure that The Bahamas enjoys the ultimate success.
“First of all, it’s a great feeling to be here,” said Williams. “This kind of championships could either make you or break you and I came here to be made so we’ll see how it goes.
“With the relay from two years ago, we really have put that behind us. We came here to do a certain job and we intend on doing that. That’s the past and we’re leaving it there – in the past. This is the present and this is what matters,” he added.
Williams said that with the injuries to former World and Olympic Champion Jeremy Wariner and Tony McQuay, this year would be as good as any for The Bahamas to win that elusive world title. The Bahamas eventually took the 2001 world title but that was after the United States was found guilty of doping. This year, they would love nothing more than to win it outright.
“I feel that we could do it this year. The Bahamas is always a team to fear and this is our year to do it,” said Williams. “We don’t come here for silver or bronze or to make the final – we come here to get the gold and hopefully we can do that. First things first, we have to try (and) make sure we get a good lane in the final. We just have to stay healthy and run smart. Once we do that, I think that we’ll be okay,” he added.
Former World Champion Moncur still blames himself for the crucial error two years ago. It was he who ran out of the zone causing the infraction.
“What I’ve been doing now is going further into the zone so that we don’t run into that situation again. That was really heart-breaking for us but I think that we have all learned from that experience, and on Thursday, we’ll just put confidence and belief in ourselves so that we could be focused on doing what we need to do to get the baton around,” he said. “I just want all the guys to go out there and focus on what they need to do. I know that I’m definitely focused. I know that we haven’t selected the final four yet, but it’s good to have a situation like that where you have six guys who are very strong.
“Any four that is put out there could definitely give a good showing. I’m just looking forward to a good run on Thursday and, hopefully, Friday as well,” he added.
Moncur is one of just three athletes on the 18-member squad to ever win an individual World Outdoor title – the other two being Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie (2001) and Donald Thomas (2007). He said that he feels privileged to be back for another World Championships, his sixth, and is looking forward to contributing in any way that he can.
“I know I’m not doing the individual 400 but it still feels good to be here, again, and run with this team,” he said. “I’m here and able to contribute and I feel really good about that. I’m just looking forward to going out there and competing well, and hopefully, we’ll come out on top,” he added.
The heats of the Men’s 4x400m relay will be held on Thursday morning here in Daegu (late Wednesday night in The Bahamas) and the final will be contested on Friday at 9:15 a.m. here in Daegu (8:15 a.m. Friday morning in The Bahamas).