Still going through her regular paces in Kingston, Jamaica, Bahamian sprinter Anthonique Strachan was looking to turn in a strong performance on her birthday, but unfortunately for her, she was unable to finish her scheduled race.
Strachan, a member of the world-famous Maximising Velocity & Power (MVP) Track and Field Club in Kingston, pulled up in the women’s 100 meters (m) at the Velocity Fest #6 Meet at Jamaica’s National Stadium on Saturday – her 27th birthday. She is assuring the Bahamian public that she is fine, just dealing with some slight cramps that were causing a problem during the race. In fact, she plans to be back in action this weekend when the seventh version of the meet is held and also hopes to go to Europe to compete before the season is completed.
Jamaican superstar female sprinters Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah took the top two spots overall in the women’s century at the Velocity Fest meet this past weekend. The Jamaican global sprint queens have pretty much 1-2 all season, and this past Saturday in Kingston wasn’t any different.
Running out of the first of two timed finals, Fraser-Pryce was first in a new world lead of 10.86 seconds. Strachan’s training partner Thompson-Herah settled for second overall in 10.92 seconds. Srabani Nanda, of India, was a distant third in 11.60 seconds. Strachan has a season’s best time of 11.46 seconds and was looking to improve on that on Saturday.
COVID-19 has presented a number of issues for athletes of all sports this year, disrupting training schedules, limiting activity and causing hardships. For Strachan, it has been the most unfortunate of circumstances, as she has dipped below the qualifying standard for the Olympics twice in the women’s 200m, but to no avail, as the qualifying period has been suspended until December 1.
The qualifying mark is 22.80 seconds, and Strachan has legally run 22.67 and 22.72 this season. The qualifying time in the 100m is 11.15 seconds.
“I find it to be odd since, a week ago, a world record was set and that was recognized but how can you count a world record and not count qualifications,” said Strachan. “They should have changed everything once athletes started competing and once they themselves started hosting track meets.”
Be that as it may, the Bahamian sprinter isn’t letting that deter her from finishing the season strong and maintaining fitness for next year. The Olympics is now set for July 23 to August 8, 2021, still in Tokyo, Japan.
Celebrating his 34th birthday a day before Strachan turned 27, was Jamaican track legend Usain Bolt. The triple world record holder made headlines this past weekend after it was announced that he contracted COVID-19. Bolt’s girlfriend Kasi Bennett threw a huge party in his honor on Friday night, but it is unknown if that function was the source of his positive test for COVID-19.
Strachan, who didn’t attend the party, said she is hoping and praying for a speedy recovery for the Jamaican superstar.
“It could have been any of us, really,” said Strachan. “I do hope that he has a speedy recovery and that his girlfriend gets tested and it’s negative especially since they have a child together. Someone needs to be healthy to take care of Olympia (the couple’s three-month old daughter).”
Bolt posted a video on social media explaining the situation. He said he doesn’t have any symptoms and has gone into quarantine.
“It’s smart that he went into isolation before getting the results,” said Strachan. “I just wish they respected the social distancing rules there. Also, he should have made his guests get tested and have a negative test before coming to the party, but he probably had it before the party… we won’t know. It’s just because we saw the party, then the positive test, we all are saying it’s because of the party, but hopefully he recovers fast and returns to work and that his family is safe.”
Strachan said she is taking the necessary precautions and doing whatever she can to stay safe from the COVID-19 pandemic in Jamaica. That island nation has recorded 1,732 total cases and has 19 deaths. It may be much safer for Strachan to stay in Jamaica than to come home at the moment, as The Bahamas, with a far less population, has 1,813 total cases and 48 total deaths. The United States is still the most impacted nation in the world, now with over six million total cases and nearly 185,000 deaths.
Worldwide, there are over 24 and a quarter million cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and about 830,000 total deaths.