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Pan Am Games preparation ongoing at BOC office

It is anticipated that a large delegation, perhaps up to 100 persons, will be representing The Commonwealth of The Bahamas at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, scheduled for July 26 to August 11.

The Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) confirmed on Wednesday that athletics, basketball and swimming are certainties, with judo a strong possibility. Boxing and volleyball are going through the qualification process. This country has done very well in sailing through the years at all world levels of competition. That discipline is a remote possibility, as well as bowling. Presently, the BOC is interacting with federations to determine the final list of qualified programs.

Athletics, other than individual performers, will likely be represented by four relay groups – men’s 1600 meters, women’s 1600 meters, men’s 4×100 meters sprint and women’s 4×100 meters sprint.

The senior men’s national basketball team will be present. National Coach Norris Bain verified qualification and the intent of the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) to supply a list to the BOC for accreditation.

“We have qualified. A basketball team definitely will be in Peru, playing for The Bahamas. It’s still not clear whether a medal or a top finish will qualify us for the Olympic Games (2020 in Tokyo, Japan) but we are looking into that. I have been told by the BOC that a definite answer will be given shortly. They just want to ensure that basketball comes under the group of sports that could qualify at the Pan Am Games for the Olympics,” said Bain.

Swimming also figures to provide relay teams, sprint and medley, as well as individuals. So, even with just the aforementioned that are more definite, the BOC will have under its charge, a sizeable number of accredited individuals seeking to enhance The Bahamas’ sports brand.

If other disciplines succeed in qualifying, they will certainly be processed by the BOC. Recently, I spoke to both BOC President Romell Knowles and Secretary General/Vice President Darron Donaldson, and the goal is to heighten the influence of the country in the Pan Am region through top flight performances by representatives. The idea is to do the kind of networking that ensures the best of our athletes, particularly those from track and field, participate.

One gets the feeling that The Bahamas will have one of the most productive representations in years, provided by our flag carriers in Lima.

Athletics and basketball will get The Bahamas rolling at the games on Saturday July 27.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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