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Bahamas Olympic team’s essex pre-training slated

The Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) is in full focus now on preparing for the participation of the country’s elite athletes at the 30th Olympic Games. The London 2012 XXX Games are scheduled for July 27-August 12 and The Bahamas’s athletes will train in Essex County.

BOC President Wellington Miller confirmed on Tuesday that it has been arranged for the Bahamian athletes to train in Essex no less than seven days prior to the opening of the sports spectacle that happens ever four years.

“Just like other nations, we’ve been given the opportunity to do pre-training in Essex. So at this moment, I can say we will be there for at least a week for pre-training. It is usual for athletes to be given the opportunity to get accustomed to the climate of the host country before competition begins,” informed Miller.

The BOC chief also said it is likely that three disciplines or more will represent The Bahamas. Athletics and swimming are definite. Athletes from those federations have already qualified. Boxing, in Valentino Knowles, is a solid possibility. The Pan American Games silver medalist is a favorite to qualify at an upcoming tournament in Brazil. Tennis is also a possibility.

Sprinter Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace is our lead item in swimming and competition in that sport will begin on July 28. The same is the case for boxing and tennis.

Athletics will begin on August 3. For The Bahamas, probably, Shaunae Miller will be in the qualification round in the 400 meters (m). Also, if the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) submits her and the BOC accepts, Laverne Eve will be in London in the javelin competition on August 3. How long will she go on?

Eve will be 47 when the Olympic Games open. She is far from her peak years. Ironically, Eve has been able, because of the limited amount of quality javelin throwers in the region, to do well beyond the age of 40 in the event. She last won a gold medal at the 2008 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships. However in the big world events, her chances are not good at all.

Eve’s best in the event is listed at 63.73m. This was done 11 years ago in 2000. In recent years, she has been able to manage legal throws only in the low 50 meters area. However, she is the best by far in The Bahamas. Reaching the Olympic ‘B’ qualifying standard of 59m might be a big stretch for her this time though.

The athletes who are on the team will be training not a long distance from the Olympic Park in London. Essex which is situated in

the East Region, is just northeast of London and it provides sporting facilities that are considered among the best in the world available for training camps. The Essex public relations machine touts the relaxing atmosphere and beautiful landscapes.

The London 2012 Olympics will come 64 years after Bahamians first competed at the Olympics level. It was in 1948 that Sir Durward Knowles as a Star Class skipper and Sloane Farrington as crew, took part in the XIV Olympics under the banner of Great Britain. That was also the last time London was the host city. London also hosted the 1908 IV Olympic Games.

(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at [email protected])

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