Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019
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Disappointing showing at world relays should motivate BAAA for rest of 2019

The Bahamas went to the medal podium in each of the first three International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relays. We garnered two men’s 1600 meters (m) silver medals in the initial two instances, and at IAAF World Relays III, our mixed 1600m squad won the gold.

It was a grand moment for the country and the parent athletic body, the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA).

However, last month, in Yokohama, Japan, the teams sent forth by the BAAA had poor results. The men’s 1600m relay team did not compete. Due to a weird communication glitch, BAAA officials did not respond appropriately in order for an injured athlete to be replaced.

On top of that, the men’s 4x200m relay squad was disqualified.

So, there are two prime events on the agenda for the rest of the year, at which the BAAA has a chance to provide some balance to the charade in Yokohama. This year’s version of the Pan American Games will take place in Lima, Peru, July 26 to August 11.

How prepared is the BAAA? For which events will the BAAA apply to the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) for entry?

The two top Bahamian track and field athletes at the moment, long sprinters Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Steven Gardiner, have the capacity to compete very well in both the 200 and 400 meters.

At what level of conditioning are other quarter-milers? Will the BAAA be able to put forth quality runners to supplement Miller in a women’s 1600m relay and Gardiner in the men’s 1600m relay? In the latter, The Bahamas has rich history.

What other events will the BAAA focus on? There is the men’s high jump and the women’s 100m hurdles for sure, with prime candidates. Whatever the case, the Pan Am Games represents an opportunity for BAAA atonement.

The BAAA will also be able to redeem itself later on in the year, September 28 to October 6 at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar. The aforementioned events loom as our best chances for success, at the worlds as well. It would be good for the BAAA to move on from the distressing 2019 IAAF World Relays and inspire quality representation of its athletes at the Pan Am Games, and the subsequent world championships.

No doubt, the BAAA is the leading sports organization, in terms of medal performances. It is time for that reputation to be reinforced.

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

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