Bahamians get on track in Guadeloupe
A number of Bahamians took part in the Guadeloupe International Meeting on Wednesday night at the Rue du Stade, in Baie-Mahault, Guadeloupe, and while there were no additional qualifiers for the world championships, there were some respectable performances.
Andros native Tamara Myers is on a mission to be the second Bahamian to qualify for the world championships in the women’s triple jump — following in the footsteps of former national record holder Jackie Edwards. Myers erased Edwards’ national mark of 13.66 meters (m) — 44’ 9-3/4”, with a huge 14.03m (46’ 0-1/2”) leap at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, at the end of April. She became the first Bahamian to jump over 14m (45’ 11-1/4”) and over 46 feet in the women’s triple jump with that leap, and is just seven centimeters short of qualifying for the worlds.
Myers hasn’t exactly come close to that leap since, but was close to the old record on Wednesday night.
She finished sixth in a strong field, leaping 13.62m (44’ 8-1/4”) in the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe on Wednesday. Olympic silver medalist from a year ago, Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela, won the competition on Wednesday with a world-leading leap of 14.67m (48’ 1-3/4”). Jamaicans occupied the other two medal spots as Kimberly Williams was second with a leap of 14.35m (47’ 1”), and Shanieka Thomas was third with a leap of 14.13m (46’ 4-1/4”).
Cuban Liadagmis Povea, 14.11m (46’ 3-1/2”), and Nadia Eke, of Ghana, 13.80m (45’ 3-1/2”), finished fourth and fifth respectively, and Myers finished sixth.
In the women’s 200m, Anthonique Strachan finished second behind American Jenna Prandini. Prandini won in 22.70 seconds, and Strachan was second in 23.04 seconds. Ella Nelson, of Australia, finished third in 23.09 seconds. The other Bahamian in the race, Tynia Gaither, had to settle for sixth in 23.47 seconds.
In a race that saw Canadian Andre De Grasse suffer a shocking loss to American Mike Rodgers, Bahamian Warren Fraser finished just outside of the medal picture. Rodgers won in 10.08 seconds, De Grasse finished second in 10.10 seconds, and his Canadian teammate, Akeem Haynes, was third in 10.23 seconds. Fraser was fourth in 10.29 seconds. Bahamian Shavez Hart ran in the ‘B’ race of the men’s 100m and finished third in 10.40 seconds.
In the women’s long jump, Bahamian Bianca Stuart settled for fourth, finishing with a best leap of 6.52m (21’ 4-3/4”). She is still looking to attain the world championships qualifying distance of 6.75m (22’ 1-3/4”). The 16th International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships is set for August 4-13 in London, England.
Winning the long jump competition in Guadeloupe was American former World and Olympic Champion Brittney Reese. She finished second at last year’s Olympics with a leap of 7.15m (23’ 5-1/2”). She won in Guadeloupe on Wednesday with a world-leading leap of 6.98m (22’ 11”). Lorraine Ugen, of Great Britain, finished second with a leap of 6.76m (22’ 2-1/4”), and Canadian Christabel Nettey was third with a leap of 6.63m (21’ 9”). Stuart had to settle for fourth.
‘Superman’ Leevan Sands was sixth in the men’s triple jump in Guadeloupe. He had a best leap of 16.26m (53’ 4-1/4”), and is still chasing the world championships qualifying distance of 16.80m (55’ 1-1/2”).
American Will Claye who took the silver medal at last year’s Olympics, won the competition in Guadeloupe, tying the world-leading mark of 17.40m (57’ 1”). It was an American sweep, as Chris Benard finished second with a leap of 17.15m (56’ 3-1/4”), and Donald Scott was third with a leap of 16.88m (55’ 4-3/4”). Former World and Olympic Champion Nelson Evora, of Portugal, finished fourth with a jump of 16.77m (55’ 0-1/4”). Cuban Lazaro Martinez was fifth with a jump of 16.52m (54’ 2-1/2”).
Bahamians will be in action again at the Jamaica International Invitational, which takes place this Saturday at the National Stadium, in Kingston, Jamaica. It is the first meeting of the 2017 IAAF World Challenge calendar.