Sunday, Dec 15, 2019
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National women’s sprint relay potential noteworthy

Ten years ago, with two of the original Golden Girls still active and performing very well (reference is to Chandra Sturrup and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie), The Bahamas captured the 4×100 meters relay silver medal at the 2009 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Berlin, Germany. Ferguson-McKenzie also won the 200 meters bronze that year.

That was 10 years after, along with the other original Golden Girls (Pauline Davis, Savatheda Fynes and Eldeece Clarke), Sturrup and Ferguson-McKenzie had captured the 1999 IAAF Worlds relay sprint gold medal. The Olympic sprint relay gold at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, to go with the 1996 Olympic silver medal in Atlanta, gave the original Golden Girls dynasty status.

The original Golden Girls are all retired now. A nation remains hopeful, nevertheless, that others would come forward to enhance the sprint relay legacy for The Bahamas, which the original Golden Girls gave foundation to.

In Berlin, 10 years ago, along with Sturrup and Ferguson-McKenzie, were Sheniqua Ferguson and quarter-miler Christine Amertil. They ran 42.29 seconds.

Brazil won the sprint relay gold medal at the 18th Pan American Games that ended this past Sunday in Lima, Peru, in 43.04 seconds. A less-than-best United States team placed second in 43.39 seconds and Trinidad and Tobago placed third in 43.57 seconds.

Putting our women’s sprint potential in perspective, I invite the thought about the following: Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Tynia Gaither, Anthonique Strachan, Pedrya Seymour, Devynnne Charlton and a well-conditioned Brianne Bethel. If they could be afforded a relay training camp and all of the amenities, to comfortably prepare, I hold the view they could run under 43 seconds.

We could qualify for a final anywhere, and on the most significant of sports stages across the globe.

Imagine Seymour, or a peak-form Charlton starting; handing off to Miller-Uibo for the Chandra Sturrup leg (the long second phase of the relay); giving to Gaither, who is a demon on the curves, at third leg; and passing the baton to a scrappy Strachan at her long-awaited senior peak point.

I submit such a development on the track for The Bahamas would result in a below-43 seconds result.

Readers, this is how close we are to adding glitter to the Bahamian women’s sprint relay legacy, initially crafted by the original Golden Girls.

Do we have what it takes to put our best foot forward in getting that right women’s sprint relay combination together?

I, just on this occasion, with many discussions going on presently about Bahamian relay running, thought to put out some food for thought.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at 727-6363.

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