Bahamian elite athletes get on the track

A number of Bahamian elite athletes were on the track on Sunday, taking part in the Pure Athletics Spring Invitational at the Orlando Health National Training Center (NTC) in Clermont, Florida.

In the women’s 200 meters (m), Shaunae Miller-Uibo was as impressive as ever, opening up in 22.03 seconds. Legally, it was her fastest season opener ever. She ran a windy 21.90 seconds at the same meet in 2017.

Sporting blonde hair, Pure Athletics athlete Miller-Uibo got out of the blocks quickly, straightened up and made up the stagger on American Fe Edwards who was a lane ahead of her. Miller-Uibo powered to the front and came home comfortably in 22.03. American Quanera Hayes, representing Life Speed Athletics out of Minneola, Florida, finished second in that heat, and was second overall, in 22.68 seconds. American Lynna Irby, from Pure Athletics, was third overall in 22.75 seconds.

Miller-Uibo has already stated her intention of running the 200m at this year’s Olympics as opposed to defending her title in the 400m, due to close proximity of the two events on the schedule. Naturally, she wanted to compete in both events, but World Athletics (WA) stated that it would be difficult to alter the schedule any further.

Miller-Uibo is also patiently waiting on the appeal hearing of Bahraini athlete Salwa Eid Naser as it relates to three “whereabouts failures” in a 12-month period prior to the start of the 2019 WA World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Since then, Naser missed a fourth test but was cleared after a World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal upheld her appeal of a provisional suspension in June of 2020. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) determined the doping control officer (DCO) inadvertently knocked on the wrong door during Naser’s third whereabouts failure, thereby clearing the athlete of missing three tests in a 12-month period.

The appeals hearing by World Athletics and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is set for April 22-23 at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Meanwhile, also at the Pure Athletics Invitational on Sunday, Devynne Charlton was back in action, competing in the women’s 100m hurdles.

Charlton clocked 13.19 seconds in the heats, and came back in the final and ran a windy 13.08 seconds in a race that was just barely over the allowable wind reading. Charlton was first overall. Finishing second overall was Paola Vazquez, of Puerto Rico, in 13.37 seconds. Deya Erickson of the British Virgin Islands, was third overall in 13.73 seconds.

Bahamian Teray Smith, representing Puma MVP International out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, competed in both the 100 and 200m. He ran a windy 10.33 seconds in the heats of the 100m, but was a no-show for the final. In the 200m, he was 11th overall in 21.07 seconds in a race that was just barely over the allowable wind reading. Fellow Bahamian Michael Mathieu was 10th overall in the men’s 200m, running 20.92 seconds – again, in a race just barely over the allowable wind reading.

American Erriyon Knighton, representing Adidas, won the men’s 200m in 20.31 seconds. Pure Athletics’ duo Josephus Lyles and Jereem Richards, from the United States and Trinidad & Tobago respectively, were second and third in identical times of 20.37 seconds. Lyles’ race had a legal wind reading while Richards’ race did not.

Over in the men’s 400m, Alonzo Russell was fifth overall in 46.83 seconds. Pure Athletics’ athlete Matthew Hudson-Smith, of Great Britain, won that event in 45.51 seconds, Jamaica’s Akeem Bloomfield, representing Puma MVP International, was second overall in 45.78 seconds, and Musa Isah, of Bahrain, was third overall in 46.68 seconds. Colombia’s Jhon Solís held on for fourth, finishing in 46.78 seconds.

Bahamian Andre Colebrook, of Puma MVP International, was the only athlete competing in the men’s 400m hurdles. He ran a time of 52.75 seconds.

Running at the USA Track and Field (USATF) Sprint Summit, in Prairie View, Texas, over the weekend, Bahamian Tynia Gaither took part in the the women’s 100m. She has already qualified for the Olympics in both the 100 and 200m.

In the 100m, Gaither, representing Adidas, was fifth overall in 11.71 seconds. Americans owned the top four spots. Morolake Akinosun, representing Nike/The Buford Bailey Track Club (TBBTC), won in 11.26 seconds. Gabby Thomas, of New Balance/TBBTC, was second overall in 11.38 seconds. Caitland Smith, of Take Notice Sports Management, finished fourth overall in 11.66, and Tawanna Meadows, representing Codrington Enterprises, was fourth overall in 11.70 seconds.

Gaither was listed for the women’s 200m but did not start that event.

She ran the anchor leg for the All Stars Red team in the women’s 4x100m relay, and they finished second in 45.94 seconds. Gaither’s teammates were British athlete Cindy Sember, and Americans Gabriele Cunningham and Caitland Smith. The Star Athletics team of Kortnei Johnson, Javianne Oliver, Dezerea Bryant and Sha’Carri Richardson, all Americans, won that event in 42.70 seconds.

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Sheldon Longley

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.

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