DOHA, Qatar – Notwithstanding the hardships they encountered in getting the team there, Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations’ (BAAA) President Drumeco Archer said that Team Bahamas’ overall performance at the 17th International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships that wrapped up on Sunday in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday, was nothing short of sensational and uplifting.
He said he couldn’t possibly fathom a situation where the nine-member team would have been left at home – unable to travel, and with their performances over the past 10 days, they justified the effort it took to get them there.
The Bahamas ended the 10-day biennial global meet with two medals – a gold and a silver from Steven Gardiner and Shaunae Miller-Uibo in the men and women’s 400 meters (m) respectively. Tynia Gaither made the women’s 200m final, and there were two other semifinalists – Gaither in the women’s 100m and Anthonique Strachan in the women’s 200m.
It’s the eighth time at the world championships that The Bahamas has won at least two medals, and Gardiner’s gold was the eighth gold in total for The Bahamas in the history of the championships. The Bahamas has also won 25 medals in the history of the championships.
“I believe that Team Bahamas has lived beyond the bill of their performances,” said Archer. “I am pleased about the output at every level. Terrence Jones made his debut at the championships and he had an opportunity to compete at the highest level. With the twins, there is work to be done, but clearly they are at a global standard to be able to compete at the highest level and this only sets the tone for better results moving into the Olympics. It’s a source of inspiration for them.
“Veteran athletes like Donald and Alonzo performed admirably and Anthonique battled through pain to give The Bahamas an inspired performance.”
“With Tynia, I believe that she has set the tone for what the world should be expecting from her in the next 12 months. and what more could we say about Steven and Shaunae. They were exceptional in winning gold and silver medals for The Bahamas and setting new national records. So, I’m looking forward to Team Bahamas doing well in the lead-up to the Olympic Games.”
Gardiner and Miler-Uibo were exceptional in winning gold and silver for The Bahamas in the men and women’s 400m respectively, each setting new national records by about a half of a second each. Gardiner ran 43.48 seconds and Miller-Uibo was second in her race in 48.37 seconds. In Miller-Uibo’s case, her time was also a new area record.
Gaither came within three one hundredths of a second of her personal best time in each of the first two rounds of the women’s 200m. In the final, she was eighth in 22.90 seconds. She finished tied for 13th overall in the women’s 100m, running 11.20 seconds in the semis. Strachan was 23rd overall in the women’s 200m after suffering a hamstring injury in the semifinals. She crossed the finish line in 25.44 seconds in the semis after running 22.86 seconds in the heats.
Donald Thomas finished tied for 19th in the men’s high jump, clearing a height of 2.22m (7’ 3-1/2”) in the qualifying round. He failed to make the final.
Alonzo Russell just missed making the semifinals of the men’s 400m, running 45.91 seconds in his opening round heat. He finished 26th overall.
The twins, Latario and Lathone Collie-Minns, were 28th and 30th overall in the men’s triple jump, settling for best jumps of 16.26m (53’ 4-1/4”) and 15.89m (52’ 1-3/4”) respectively. They both failed to make the final.
Finally, youngster Terrence Jones, just 16 years old, was disqualified in the heats of the men’s 200m after stepping on the line coming around the curve. He had crossed the finish line 21.40 seconds.
“I’m happy overall. We have positioned ourselves as well as we can toward preparing for the Olympic Games,” said Archer. “ In short, I would say that The Bahamas has achieved its mission here in Doha and I can’t say enough about how happy I am. High marks for Team Bahamas.”
Archer said that their intention is to monitor the athletes’ progression going into an Olympic year. One of the items on the table is increased competition in the region.
“We are trying to develop a circuit of events in the larger territories in the region, and in some cases the smaller ones as well, so that it gives more of our athletes a better opportunity to compete at a very high level,” he said. “At the end of the day, we want our athletes to be sharp going into the Olympics next year. Next year is a pivotal one for Bahamian track and field. Our intention is to provide the athletes with all that is needed to ensure ultimate success at the Olympics.”
The 2020 Summer Olympic Games is set for July 24 to August 9, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Even though the qualifying standards appear to be more stringent this time around, Archer is confident that they will get a number of athletes qualified and have good representation for The Bahamas.