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Fifth for Mullings at CAC Games

Ken Mullings continued to hold his own against some of the region’s best decathletes on Monday, eventually settling for a fifth place finish, and The Bahamas’ women’s tennis doubles team of Simone Pratt and Danielle Thompson dropped their bronze medal match as the 23rd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games continued in Barranquilla, Colombia.

After two events at the Rafael Cotes Athletics Stadium on Sunday, Mullings sat in fourth place, and eventually slipped to fifth by the end of day one. He remained in fifth throughout day two, finishing with 6,973 points.

Leonel Suarez Fajardo, of Cuba, won the gold, scoring 8,026 points. Jose Lemos Rivas, of Colombia, took the silver medal with 7,913 points, and Briander Rivero Reyes, of Cuba, won the bronze medal with 7,858 points. Felipe de Jesus Ruiz Lopez, of Mexico, finished fourth with 7,340 points.

Mullings, who won the college men’s decathlon at the Penn Relays this year, was taking part in his first senior competition at the CAC Games level, and gave a good account of himself. At the end of day one, he was just 90 points out of the bronze medal position, and was in striking distance of Antonio Green’s 29-year-old national record with 3,903 points.

Mullings made up about 40 points in the 110 meters (m) hurdles, but slipped further back in the discus throw and pole vault. He needed a strong finish to crack the top three and break Greene’s long-standing national record.

Mullings, 21, came up short of both the medal podium and the national record, but set a personal best after scoring 6,930 at the Penn Relays in April.

On the final day, he turned in marks of 14.57 seconds in the 110m hurdles, 33.17m (108’ 10”) in the discus, 4.10m (13’ 5-1/2”) in the pole vault, 47.39m (155’ 5”) in the javelin and 5:20.82 in the 1500m.

He finished 885 short of a medal, and 448 short of the national record.

The only other Bahamian in the athletics competition yesterday was Grand Bahamian Alonzo Russell in the semifinals of the men’s 400m. Russell booked his ticket for the final, as he won his semifinal heat in 46.49 seconds. Just the winner of each heat and the next four fastest times moved on to the final. Russell will go into Wednesday’s final with the sixth fastest time.

In tennis, being played over at the Parque Distrital de Raquetas, The Bahamas’ women’s tennis doubles team of Pratt and Thompson lost their bronze medal match. Pratt and Thompson fell to the team of Monica Matias and Monica Puig, from Puerto Rico, in straight sets. They lost 6-2 and 6-0.

In team sports, the men’s softball and basketball teams continued to struggle.

The men’s softball team got no-hit for the third time in five outings and were shut out for the fourth time in those five games. They lost 7-0 to Cuba in six innings at the Estadio Pequeñas Ligas in Barranquilla. Alberto Hernandez fired a no-hitter for Cuba. He struck out 11 batters in six innings. Thomas Davis suffered the loss for The Bahamas. Cuba pounded The Bahamas for 11 hits.

In men’s basketball, Cuba pulled away for a 97-80 win at the Coliseo Elias Chewing on Monday.

Cuba led just 51-48 at the half, but outscored The Bahamas, 23-10, in the third quarter to pull away. They went on for the easy double-digit win.

Karel Guzman paced Cuba with a game-high 21 points on 8-for-9 shooting from the field. Javier Justiz had 17 points and eight rebounds, and Yuniskel Molina contributed 16 points and five rebounds. Marvin Cairo and Yoanki Mensia both had 11, and Jasiel Rivero dropped in 10 points and added five rebounds. Cairo had a huge double-double as he added 10 rebounds.

For The Bahamas, Jackson Jacob once again led the way with 13 points. He added three assists, three steals and two rebounds. Michael Carey Jr. had 12 points for The Bahamas, and Mark St. Fort was the only other player in double figures with 11 points.

The Bahamas shot just 36 percent (28-for-78) from the floor compared to 48 percent (32-for-66) for the Cubans, and were out-rebounded, 45-35.

The Bahamas was a woeful 7-for-31 from distance.

With the loss, The Bahamas dropped to a winless 0-2 in men’s basketball.

In fencing, at the Golden Gate Events Center, Bahamian Dexter Lewis lost all six of his matches in Pool B of the Men’s Individual Foil. He fell to Juan Unda Zazueta, of Mexico, 5-0; lost to Dimitri Clairet, of Colombia, 5-0; suffered a 5-0 loss to Luis Lopez Gonzalez, of Guatemala; lost to Victor Leon Garcia, of Venezuela, 5-0; then lost to Luis Largaespada Simont, of Nicaragua, 5-0; and finally lost to Michael Carty, of Cuba, 5-0.

The Bahamas still has six medals at the 23rd CAC Games in Barranquilla, Colombia – all in the sporting discipline of swimming. Joanna Evans has five of those six medals – three gold in the women’s 200, 400 and 800m free events, and two silver in the 100m free and 400m Individual Medley (IM) events. Margaret Albury Higgs has the other medal for The Bahamas – a bronze in the women’s 200m breast.

The Bahamas currently sits in 10th place in the medal standings.

Mexico leads the way with 256 total medals – 104 gold, 89 silver and 63 bronze. Host country Colombia is second with 183 total medals – 54 gold, 60 silver and 69 bronze; and Cuba is third with 155 total medals – 54 gold, 55 silver and 46 bronze.

Trinidad & Tobago is the top English-speaking Caribbean country so far. They are two spots ahead of The Bahamas, in eighth, with 22 total medals – seven gold, four silver and 11 bronze. With Jamaica sweeping the 100m races on Monday night, they leapfrogged The Bahamas into ninth place in the medal standings. Jamaica has 13 total medals so far – six gold, two silver and five bronze.

The order of finish at the CAC Games in the medal standings is based on the quality of the medals.

The 23rd CAC Games continues today in Barranquilla.


Sports Editor at The Nassau Guardian
Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting
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