LIMA, Peru — When the start lists were compiled for the men’s 400 meters (m) of the 18th Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, late Tuesday, there was a surprise related directly to The Bahamas.
Grand Bahamian Alonzo Russell was not listed in any of the two semifinal heats. Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Barbados and Grenada were the Caribbean countries represented.
It was shocking to media personnel and some coaches, accustomed to seeing The Bahamas included in the men’s 400 meters at all major competitions.
Chef de Mission D’Arcy Rahming Sr. was asked about the development. It appeared the situation was not expected.
“Alonzo is arriving later today. He won’t be here in time. However, he will be in place for the relay (1600 meters). He had document issues,” explained Rahming.
Russell’s absence from the open 400 meters left The Bahamas with just participants in the men’s decathlon (Ken Mullings) and the women’s 100m hurdles (Pedrya Seymour and Devynne Charlton) on Wednesday.
Russell is recognized as the No. 2 men’s quarter-miler in the country, following Steven Gardiner. He has a personal best time of 45.25 seconds and a season’s best time of 45.28 seconds. He has also been dependable in the 1600m relay.
Russell owns an Olympic relay bronze (2016), International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Indoors relay silver (2016), two Commonwealth Games relay silver medals (2014 and 2018) and a World Relays silver (2015).