The Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) has ratified a 17-member team for the inaugural Junior Pan American Games, set for November 25 to December 5, in Cali, Colombia.
The event, which was postponed from this summer to later in the year due to COVID concerns, is expected to bring together some of the finest athletes in a number of sporting disciplines from around the region. It is a forthcoming international multi-sports event for athletes aged 17 to 22 in the Americas, organized by Panam Sports. The motto of the multi-sports event is: ‘Ready To Give’ #AllForYou.
The Bahamas will be represented in five of the 28 sporting disciplines – athletics, aquatics, rowing, triathlon and wresting. The team members will begin departing for Cali, Colombia from as early as this weekend.
Named to the athletics team are Lacarthea Cooper who is expected to compete in the women’s 100 and 400 meters (m), Carlos Brown Jr. who is listed for the men’s 200m, Antoine Andrews who will also compete in the men’s 200m, Tre Buchanan for the men’s 400m hurdles, Kyle Alcine in the men’s high jump, Tarajh Hudson in the men’s discus and Gabriel Curtis who is listed for the men’s 5,000m and 10,000m.
In aquatics (swimming), Rhanishka Gibbs is set to represent the country in the women’s 50m free, the women’s 100m breast, the women’s 200m Individual Medley (IM) and the mixed 400m free relay, Rachel Lundy is listed to compete in the women’s 50, 100 and 200m free, and the mixed 400m free relay; Shawn Neely is set to compete in the mixed 400m free relay, Lamar Taylor is listed for the men’s 50, 100 and 200m free, the men’s 100m back, and the mixed 400m free relay, William Russell will compete in the men’s 100 and 200m breast, Nigel Forbes is listed for the men’s 100 and 200m fly, and the men’s 200m IM, and Davante Carey will compete in the men’s 100m free, the men’s 100m fly, the men’s 100 and 200m back, and the mixed 400m free relay.
In rowing, Breanna Gayle is set to represent the country in the women’s singles oars. In triathlon, Ralph Wood III will compete in men’s singles, and in wrestling, Chigozie Ijeoma is set to compete in the men’s freestyle 97kg. class.
BOC President Romell Knowles said they are on the right track in terms of having a broader scope of participation beyond the usual sporting disciplines that Bahamians compete in such as athletics and aquatics.
“We are putting a strong focus on the small sports federations because our focus is to get as many people from as many disciplines as possible to compete at the Olympic Games, and this is a step in that right direction,” said Knowles. “This is not to say that we are not putting a great focus on athletics and aquatics. We just want to be as diverse as possible when we’re talking about representation for The Bahamas.”
The Chef de Mission of the team is BOC Vice President Clarence Rolle and he will be assisted by Rudolph Ferguson. Dr. Rickey Davis is the Team Doctor.
“It is my pleasure to be able to serve this country, to serve the Bahamas Olympic Committee and to serve the athletes as Chef de Mission for the first Junior Pan American Games,” said Rolle yesterday. “After watching some of the young athletes in their careers so far, I believe that The Bahamas will make a great impression. We have a rich tradition in sports. In several Olympic Games, we are recognized as the winner per capita. These games don’t put heavy emphasis on winning medals. It’s about camaraderie, the spirit of competitiveness and getting experience for development. We expect great growth from this experience for our athletes.”
The athletics coaches are Kennord Mackey, Dionne Britton and David Charlton. The swimming coach is Travano McPhee, the rowing coach is Karianne Kulig, the triathlon coach is Cameron Roach and the wrestling coach is Clinton Burke.
Hundreds of young athletes from 41 nations will compete in 321 events across 28 sporting disciplines over the 10 days of competition.
Swimming and triathlon will kick off the competition for The Bahamas on November 26. Athletics and wrestling will get underway on November 30, and rowing will commence on December 1.