The Bahamas’ two most distinguished decathletes will be taking part in international competitions this summer after all.
Despite not finishing the decathlon competition at the 2022 Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) National Youth, Junior and Senior Track and Field Championships over the weekend, thereby not achieving the qualifying standard for the World Athletics (WA) Outdoor Championships later this summer, both Ken Mullings and Kendrick Thompson are headed to international competitions.
Mullings will compete in the aforementioned world championships as a result of winning the overall title in the men’s decathlon at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Combined Events Area Championships in May. The six area champions of World Athletics as well as current Diamond League winners and defending world champions are granted automatic bids to the world championships.
Mullings received the news over the weekend.
“I feel like this is a big step in my track and field journey,” said Mullings. “This is the biggest stage of my track and field career for me and it’s going to be really competitive. I’m honored and kind of nervous at the same time. I feel like I just have to trust my coach and go out there and execute. I have nothing to lose but I have to go out there and lay it all out on the line. I don’t want to go there and perform less than my standard. I want to be able to so something special.”
Mullings scored 7,537 points at the NACAC Combined Events Area Championships in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, winning eight of the 10 events over the two days of competition. His personal best points total is 7,734 points, done at the BAAA National Championships in 2021.
Now, Mullings is set to become the first Bahamian to compete in the multi events at a global meet – the world championships or the Olympics.
The world championships is set for July 15-24, at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, USA. As for Thompson, he will be a part of a 28-member team that will represent The Bahamas at the 22nd Commonwealth Games, commonly known as Birmingham 2022, from July 28 to August 8, in Birmingham, England.
Thompson also makes history, set to become the first Bahamian to compete at the Commonwealth Games in the multi events.
At the nationals this past weekend, both pulled out for precautionary measures, but both are expected to recover in time for their respective international competitions.
The duo have gone back and forth in setting the national record over the past three years, with each enjoying a crack at it multiple times. Mullings first took down a 30-year national mark in April of 2019, scoring 7,427 points at the University of Miami (UM) Hurricane Alumni Invitational in Coral Gables, Florida. Since then, the national record has been broken four times – once by Mullings and three times by Thompson,
The new mark of 7,788 points was accomplished by Thompson at the Jacksonville Athletic Club’s (JAC) Combined Events Qualifier at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, at the end of last month. The qualifying mark for the world championships was 8,350 points – the deadline was midnight on Monday.
Both Mullings and Thompson are coached by Ednal Rolle – Head Athletics Coach at the University of The Bahamas.