DOHA, Qatar – Basking in the success of Team Bahamas at the 17th International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships that wrapped up on Sunday, the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) staged a reception in their honor at Trader Vic’s Restaurant at the Hilton Doha in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday.
BAAA President Drumeco Archer sad that it was important for them to honor and recognize the achievements of all nine members of the team over the course of the championships. It was festive setting on Saturday night and a time for the entire Bahamian community in Doha to mix and mingle in celebrating Team Bahamas.
The Bahamas won two medals – a gold and a silver – at the highest level of competition in athletics in the world and finished 15th in the medal standings.
New North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) President Mike Sands, former IAAF Council Members Alpheus ‘Hawk’ Finlayson and Pauline Davis-Thompson, BAAA President Archer, BAAA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mabeline Miller, and Bahamian track and field enthusiasts all showed up to show their appreciation and love for Team Bahamas, which was inclusive of the management team, team officials, coaches and most importantly, the athletes.
Archer told the athletes that this is a time to reflect on the season that each of them would have had and all that was accomplished.
“From the beginning of the year, we see that our CARIFTA team earned more gold medals than we had in recent times, and then it climaxed with the celebration of a gold and silver at the highest level for athletics, and it very easily could have been two gold medals. We are here to celebrate the achievements of track and field and to say thank you for your perseverance and for being a part of the sport in the most dignified way. I’m really happy to see the outcome,” said Archer.
“This is a clarion call for all stakeholders to really see the magic of sports. Countries far and wide look to The Bahamas to be leaders in this sport, and though we have smaller numbers, the impact of our performances and what we do at both the administrative level as well as the athletic and competitive level surpasses almost the entire world.
“There is a lot of work to do, and this is the penultimate step toward our road to Tokyo, where I expect even greater performances, not only individually, but also collectively. This is a time when the country is proud of your achievements.”
The 2020 Olympics is set for July 24 to August 9, 2020, in Tokyo, Japan. The qualifying period has begun and will continue until June 29, 2020.
During the reception, Archer broke down the performances of all nine members of the team over the 10 days of competition, particularly the national record-setting, medal-winning accomplishments of Steven Gardiner and Shaunae Miller-Uibo in the men and women’s 400 meters (m) respectively. He said that with continued effort, The Bahamas could produce more Steven Gardiner’s and Shaunae Miller-Uibo’s in the years to come. As for the two medalists, they stood tall in the center of the celebrations, and were accompanied by family and friends.
“With such an achievement of having one of the youngest members of the championships here and a part of this squad in the person of Terrence Jones, and to see the leading performances of Shaunae and Steven, this is inspirational, and you have an obligation to continue to inspire others,” said Archer.
“This honor goes to the entire country and we want to encourage everyone who makes up this movement to support the BAAA in every way. We need financial support to develop our programs. Track and field is a very difficult sport and it is multi-faceted and it touches everyone. When we do poorly, the country suffers and when we do well, the country celebrates. The world expects us to deliver a good product and that product could be nothing without the financial support of the country.”
Archer ended by thanking God for allowing the BAAA to get the team to Doha for the world championships, he saluted Coach Ronald Cartwright and former IAAF Council Member Pauline Davis-Thompson for being recognized and honored by the IAAF, congratulated Mike Sands for beginning his journey as NACAC President and IAAF Council Member, and thanked the media, the coaches and management of Team Bahamas, and the athletes themselves.
Also speaking at the function were NACAC President Sands, Rupert Gardiner representing the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, BAAA CEO Mabeline Miller, Marcellus Hall on behalf of the media, Sharon Gardiner on behalf of the management team, Shaun Miller on behalf of the coaches and gold medalist Steven Gardiner on behalf of the athletes.