Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019
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Nation’s 1600m relay legacy in a good way

It was really a scary moment.

I watched the race. Steven Gardiner came into the curve of the 200 meters (m) race in Stockholm, Sweden, on Sunday, at a high rate of speed. He was tight on the inside of his lane however and I believe it was a difficult negotiation for him.

There was the slightest of break in stride. Then, he eased down, conceded the race and continued to the finish, only at a half pace. The scene was at the Stockholm Diamond League Meet. Thankfully, shortly afterwards, Gardiner posted that he was fine and explained why he backed off challenging World Champion Ramil Guliyev, who won in 19.92. Gardiner’s personal best for the event is 19.75.

“Slight tightness to my hamstring, I’m doing fine. Sorry Stockholm but I will be back. Thank you for your support,” said Gardiner’s post.

It was a relief to find out from the man himself that our premier quarter-mile runner is indeed “fine” and ready to continue with the excellent season he is having. Two particular thoughts came to mind.

What a tight line one has at the highest level of competition! Steven Gardiner is very important to The Bahamas’ sports brand. Also, could it be at his height, 6’ 5”, the 200m, going forward in his career, will prove to be problematic for him.

Whatever the case, although there was disappointment on Sunday because of what happened in Stockholm, the reality is that the legacy of The Bahamas’ men’s 1600m relay is in great shape. We have some other young guns to go along with Gardiner.

Earlier this year, at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia, Gardiner was not a part of Team Bahamas. Still, Alonzo Russell, Stephen Newbold, O’jay Ferguson and Teray Smith won the silver medal. It was a pleasant development. There is the infusion of youthful sprinters that should carry us over into the next decade.

Also, some of the old guard will be around a bit longer to lend that double element of experience and depth. The Eternal One, Chris Brown, has stated that he is not retired and will go full force into training to be available in 2019.

Ramon Miller and Michael Mathieu were in Australia, but did not compete in the final. Demetrius Pinder is still searching for his prime form. So, the ‘Golden Knights’ are not going into the sunset just yet.

With Gardiner at the helm, this means The Bahamas will continue to be a force to reckon with, certainly, when it comes to the men’s 1600m relay.


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