The Bahamas has selected a four-girl and a seven-boy team to take to the IAAF Word U-20 Championships that will be held in Tampere, Finland. The championships will be from July 10 to July 15.
The girls’ team is made up of Jaida Knowles (100 meters (m) and 200m), Kayvon Stubbs (200m), Sasha Wells 100m hurdles (h) and Charisma Taylor (triple jump).
On the boys side, Leon Johnson and Adrian Curry (100m and 200m), Corey Sherrod (400m), Oscar Smith and Denvaguhn Whyms (110mh), Branson Rolle (400m), Jyles Etienne and Kyle Alcine (high jump).
The rest of the Bahamian contingent includes Margo Major (team manager), James Rolle (head coach), Nadia Gilbert (doctor), Michael Armbrister (physio), Rashad Patton, and Ednal Rolle
Wells is the national junior record holder in the 100mh, running it in a time of 13.44 seconds – a time she set back in April at the 2018 Flow CARIFTA games held in The Bahamas. She is about to enter her sophomore year at Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma. She will be one of the athletes to keep a close eye on in these games.
Knowles is a rising star in the sprints. Her fastest time in the 100m this season is 11.68s, a time she set at this year’s CARIFTA.
She will be looking to lower that time as she goes against the world’s best juniors. She is currently the silver medal holder in the 100m at CARIFTA, behind Jamaica’s sprinting powerhouse, Briana Williams.
In the 200m, where she is the reigning junior national champion, her season best is 23.85s. She placed second again, behind Williams at CARIFTA this year. Like in the 100m, Knowles has the potential to beat her season best.
It will be a challenge for the 16-year-old Knowles moving into this age category late in the season.
Wells’ college teammate, Stubbs, will be in the 200m and will be looking to improve on her season best time of 24.10 in that discipline. She set that time in Joplin, Missouri.
Like at CARIFTA this year, Johnson and Curry will be representing The Bahamas in the 100m and 200m. Johnson and Curry placed first and second respectively in the 100m at CARIFTA. Johnson ran in a personal and season best time of 10.31s. Curry’s time was 10.43s, also his personal and season best.
Johnson’s season best in the 200m is 20.87s, a time he ran at the Junior National Championship. He hopes to return with medals in both events. Despite not running in the finals in the 200m at CARIFTA, Curry ran a personal and season best of 21.33s in the heat.
Two boys will be representing The Bahamas in the 110mh as they vie for a medal. Oscar Smith is the 2018 junior national champion in his age category. He ran a season best of 13.57s at CARIFTA where he placed third.
Whyms has a season best of 13.56s, set back in January this year. He will be looking to lower that time.
Grand Bahamian, Sherrod has the country’s leading junior time in the 400m of 47.24s. He ran that time at the Junior National Championship earlier this month. Sherrod will have to lower that time to 45 seconds to be in the mix for a medal at the championship.
Liberty University’s freshman, Rolle, will be looking to better his season best of 52.10s. He set that at High Point. Rolle had a busy season running a lot of hurdles. The former Queen’s College athlete will be looking to get back to lower his personal best of 49.08s. This is the stage to do just that.
The field events look promising for the University of Arkansas’ freshman Charisma Taylor. This is her second World U20 Championships that she will be participating in.
Her personal best in the triple jump is 12.85m (42’ 1/4″), a jump she set at the senior national championships last weekend. This is encouraging as she looks to jump even further to wind down her season.
The high jumping duo of Etienne and Alcine will be looking to make some noise at the competition. Etienne, a freshman jumping for Indiana University set a season best of 2.08m (6’ 3/4”) earlier in May of this year in Bloomington, Indiana.
North Dakota State University’s Alcine jumped a season best of 2.08m (6’ 3/4”) as well. Alcine is a promising jumper and will look to join the ranks of Donald Thomas or Jamaal Wilson soon. This championship gives that opportunity.
This is a small, but promising group of athletes.
At the last championship, The Bahamas’ highest placed athletes were Jenae Ambrose and Serena Brown in 200m and discus throw. They placed fourth.
A medal placement will be greatly sought after.
Go Team Bahamas!
IAAF World U20 Championships team:
Jaida Knowles (100m & 200m)
Kayvon Stubbs (200m)
Sasha Wells (110mh)
Charisma Taylor (Triple Jump)
Adrian Curry (100m & 200m)
Joel Johnson (100m & 200m)
Corey Sherrod (400m)
Oscar Smith (110mh)
Denvaughn Whyms (110mh)
Branson Rolle (400mh)
Jyles Etienne (High Jump)
Kyle Etienne (High Jump)
Margo Major – manager
James Rolle – head coach
Nadia Gilbert – doctor
Michael Armbrister- physio
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism