Sports

Mullings wins NACAC decathlon title

Miller-Uibo, Charlton and Strachan compete in Doha

A pair of Bahamians has shone new light on the multi events in athletics here in The Bahamas, and this past weekend was no different as a major international title was captured.

This time, it would be former national record holder Ken Mullings rising to the forefront. Mullings won the men’s decathlon title at the NACAC (North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association) Combined Events Area Championships, scoring 7,537 combined points at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, over the weekend.

The Bahamian won easily over Canadians Shawn Beaudoin and Rostam Turner who had to settle for second and third, respectively. Beaudoin was a distant second with 6,450 points and Turner rounded out the top three with 6,344 points.

Mullings won the eight of the 10 events over the two days of competition, was second in another, and ended the multi events with a fifth-place finish in the men’s 1,500 meters (m) race.

Mullings and fellow Bahamian Kendrick Thompson have been going back and forth in the men’s decathlon over the past three years – both having their turns with the national record which now stands at 7,762 points, set by Thompson at the University of Miami Cobb Stadium in Coral Gables, Florida, in April.

The qualifying standard for the 8,350 combined points, but there is also wildcard entries for a reigning world champion, a 2021 Diamond League Champion and as the current area champion from the athlete’s respective area championships. Athletes can also qualify via their World Athletics (WA) rankings.

It remains to be seen whether or not Mullings will get the nod as the area champion, given his performance in Ottawa over the weekend. The Bahamas Association of Athletics Associations (BAAA) would have to file an official request on his behalf.

Mullings won the 100m in 10.88 seconds – just eight one hundredths of a second over his personal best; took the long jump with a leap of 6.91m (22’ 8”) – about 30 centimeters short of his personal best jump of 7.19m (23’ 7-1/4”); won the shot put with a throw of 13.88m (45’ 6-1/2”) – again about 30 centimeters short of his personal best; won the high jump with a leap of 1.96m (6’ 5”) – 14 centimeters off his personal best of 2.10m (6’ 10-1/2”); won the 400m in 49.83 seconds – a little over half of a second off his personal best run of 49.18 seconds; won the 110m hurdles in 14.31 seconds – just two tenths of a second over his personal best run of 14.13 seconds; was second in the discus with a throw of 38.58m (126’ 7”) – significantly off his personal best throw of 44.96m (147’ 6”); won the pole vault competition with a jump of 4.40m (14’ 5-1/4”) – just off his personal best jump of 4.60m (15’ 1”); won the javelin throw with a toss of 56.83m (186’ 5”) – just off his personal best throw of 57.18m (187’ 7”); and finally finished fifth in the men’s 1,500m in 5:00.76 – about 12 seconds short of his personal best run of 4:48.89.

Meanwhile, at the Qatar Sports Club in Doha, Qatar, over the weekend, a trio of Bahamian women took part in the first Wanda Diamond League competition of the season.

Olympic Champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo suffered a shocking defeat in the women’s 400m, finishing third in a modest 51.84 seconds. It was her first loss in that event since the World Athletics World Championships final in Doha in 2019. Marileidy Paulino, of the Dominican Republic, the silver medalist behind Miller-Uibo at the Tokyo Olympics last year, won in a season’s best time of 51.20 seconds. Jamaican Stephenie Ann McPherson was second in a season’s best time of 51.69 seconds.

Bahamian Devynne Charlton settled for fourth in the women’s 100m hurdles, running a wind-aided 12.61 seconds. In the blanket finish with the top three, world record holder Kendra Harrison of the United States (US) won in 12.43 seconds, and Tobi Amusan, of Nigeria, and Jamaican Britany Anderson finished tied for second in identical times of 12.44 seconds.

The women’s 200m was also a close race. American Gabrielle Thomas equaled the meet record, winning in a season’s best time of 21.98 seconds. Jamaican Shericka Jackson finished second in a season’s best time of 22.07 seconds, Dina Asher-Smith is on the comeback trail, finishing third in a season’s best time of 22.37 seconds, American Tamara Clark settled for fourth in 22.72 seconds, and Bahamian Anthonique Strachan finished fifth in 22.78 seconds.

All three women have already qualified for the 18th biennial World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in the US, this summer. That global meet is set for July 15-24.

A total of seven Bahamians have now qualified for the world championships in Eugene. They are Miller-Uibo in the women’s 200 and 400m, Charlton in the women’s 100m hurdles, Strachan in the women’s 100 and 200m, TyNia Gaither also in the women’s 100 and 200m, Samson Colebrooke in the men’s 100m, Steven Gardiner in the men’s 400m and LaQuan Nairn in the men’s long jump.

Gardiner is the reigning world champion in the men’s 400m from Doha, and Miller-Uibo is the women’s 400m silver medalist.

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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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