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BOC names Pan Am Games team

The biggest multi-sport event in this region is now less than a month away, and the wheels are in motion in terms of strong representation from The Bahamas.

The 23rd Pan American Games is set for July 26 to August 11, in Lima, Peru.

Based on recommendations and invitations from their regional peers, the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) named a 33-member team yesterday. Once again, track and field will represent the lion’s share of Team Bahamas. A total of 19 athletes have been invited for that discipline. A total of 10 invitations are being sent out to swimmers, and there is expected to be two tennis players and two judo athletes.

Invited to represent The Bahamas in track and field are: Warren Fraser (men’s 100 meters – m), Samson Colebrooke (men’s 100m), Cliff Resias (men’s 200m), Alonzo Russell (men’s 400m/4x400m relay), Jeffery Gibson (men’s 400m hurdles), Andre Colebrooke (men’s 400m hurdles/4x400m relay), Donald Thomas (men’s high jump), Jamaal Wilson (men’s high jump), Latario Collie (men’s triple jump), Lathone Collie (men’s triple jump), Ojay Ferguson (men’s 4x400m relay), Michael Mathieu (men’s 4x400m relay), Brianne Bethel (women’s 100m/200m/4x100m relay), Tynia Gaither (women’s 100m/200m/4x100m relay), Devynne Charlton (women’s 100m/100m hurdles/4x100m relay), Anthonique Strachan (women’s 200m/4x100m relay), Doneisha Anderson (women’s 400m), Pedrya Seymour (women’s 100m hurdles/4x100m relay) and Katrina Seymour (women’s 400m hurdles).

The coaches for track and field are Tyrone Burrows, James Rolle, Kennard Mackey and Rudolph Ferguson.

Set to compete in swimming for The Bahamas are: Ariel Weech (women’s 50m free/relays), Lilly Higgs (women’s 100/200m free/relays), Laura Morley (women’s 100/200m breast/200m Individual Medley – IM/relays), Albury Higgs (women’s 200m breast/relays), Gershwin Greene (men’s 50m free), Jared Fitzgerald (men’s 100m free), Luke-Kennedy Thompson (men’s 1500m free/200m IM), N’Nhyn Fernander (men’s 100m fly), William Tyler Russell (men’s 100/200m breast) and DaVante Carey (men’s 100m back).

The head coach for the swim team is Andy Loveitt. He will be assisted by Jorge Rodriguez; and Rochelle Bastian is the swim team manager.

The two tennis athletes are Justin Roberts and Baker Newman and they will compete in men’s singles and men’s doubles. The coach for the tennis team is BOC Secretary General Derron Donaldson.

The two judo athletes are Cynthia Rahming (women’s 57 kilogram – kg.) and Sasha Ingraham (women’s 78 kg.). The coach for the Bahamian judo team is Onesi Portorreal Pons, of Cuba.

D’Arcy Rahming Sr. is the chef de mission for Team Bahamas. He will be assisted by Oria Wood-Knowles, and Dawn Johnson is the overall team manager. The two doctors are Dr. Rickey Davis and Dr. Keir Miller and the two physiotherapists are Cottrice Robinson and Jenna Gibson. Dr. Philip Claussen is the chiropractor for the team.

Once again, The Bahamas will not compete in a team sport at the games.

“Team sports are very difficult to qualify for at the Pan Am Games. We had beach volleyball and basketball that were on the cusp of qualifying, but they fell short,” said BOC President Romell Knowles. “In terms of our elite athletes in track and field, we could say that Shaunae [Miller-Uibo] has always been friendly to the Bahamas Olympic Committee and our games. When we don’t see her attending, it’s almost always a conflict in her schedule. Steven [Gardiner] has also been very accommodating. I suppose it’s a conflict with his schedule as well.

“We make an appeal to our senior athletes to understand that these games are not free. Multi-sport games are very expensive and the number of athletes who are invited have been reduced in recent times. Every sport was given a quota from the organizing committee. That certainly would have played a role in the size of the teams,” he added.

At the last Pan Am Games, in Toronto, Canada, in 2015, The Bahamas won six medals – two gold, two silver and two bronze. Swimmer Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace won a gold medal in the women’s 50m free and a bronze medal in the women’s 100m free. Jeffery Gibson won a gold medal in the men’s 400m hurdles. “Superman” Leevan Sands won a silver medal in the men’s triple jump. Bianca Stuart won a silver medal in the women’s long jump, and Donald Thomas finished with a bronze in the men’s high jump.

“The organizing committee wants a good product so they anticipate that the various countries will send their best athletes so that it will produce a quality and competitive games,” said Knowles. “We’re preaching that message and hopefully in the years to come, our elite athletes will act accordingly.”

Overall Team Manager Dawn Johnson, who is an executive in the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA), said that even though elite athletes Miller-Uibo and Gardiner won’t be present, The Bahamas will still field a very strong team.

“We still have an awesome team and obviously we expect them to do very well. They are all very excited,” she said. “With the men’s 4x400m team, they will be trying to qualify for the world championships so this is a very big meet for them coming on the heels of the nationals. Basically, we expect greatness from this team, and hopefully we will make The Bahamas very proud.”

The BAAA Open National Championships is set for July 26-27 at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex in Freeport, Grand Bahama. Athletes on the track team for The Bahamas at the Pan Am Games will leave for Lima following the conclusion of the nationals. The 17th International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships is set for September 27 to October 6, at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

Bahamas Judo Federation (BJF) President D’Arcy Rahming Sr., who is also the chef de mission for Team Bahamas, said he expects the two judo athletes to represent the country very well.

“They qualified to go which means they would have competed in a number of competitions and performed well in those competitions, so there are expectations of them,” he said. “Sasha [Ingraham] is a University of The Bahamas student who has only been training for less than a year, so we’re particularly proud of her. With Cynthia [Rahming], we kind of knew that she would qualify because she has been on that trend. We’re really delighted to have these two athletes taking part. They have really worked hard and they put in the work.”

There were no representatives from the swim and tennis teams at the press conference yesterday, but from all indication, strong performances are expected from them as well.

Sheldon Longley

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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