Team Bahamas Named For The Iaaf World Indoors
Tony McQuay (USA) and Michael Mathieu (BAH) hand off to Bryshon Nellum (USA) and Chris Brown (BAH) in the men’s 4x400m heats during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#It’s official. With just a week to go, the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) has ratified an 11-member team that is considered “very strong, but not very big and should have some solid performances” when they represent the Bahamas at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland.
#The team, announced by BAAA president Mike Sands, who was accompanied by IAAF councilwoman Pauline Davis-Thompson and Bahamas Association of Certified Officials (BACO) president Ralf McKinney, was named yesterday during a press conference at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium and will include two females and a men’s 4 x 400 metre relay team.
#When the championships take place March 7-9, Shaunae Miller, who has abandoned her eligibility at the University of Georgia to compete on the pro circuit under the sponsorship of Adidas, will head the two-member women’s team as she competes in the 400 metres.
#She will be joined by Sheniqua ‘Q’ Ferguson, who will contest the 60m.
#Chris ‘Fireman’ Brown, the most decorated Bahamian in the indoor championships, will head the team as he competes in the men’s 400 metres. He will be joined by Warren Fraser and Adrian Griffith in the 60 metres and both Donald Thomas and Ryan Ingraham in the men’s high jump.
#Ramon Miller also qualified to compete in the men’s 400m, but he has opted to just concentrate on the 4 x 400m relay. Miller and Brown will make up the relay pool with Latoy Williams, Andretti Bain Michael Mathieu. Missing from the pool is Grand Bahamian Demetrius Pinder.
#Pinder, coming off an injured season last year, was reunited with Brown, Miller and Mathieu in Glasgow on January 25 when they ran a national record of three minutes and 07.30 seconds for second place behind Great Britain. However, Sands said he was unable to make contact with Pinder to ascertain whether or not he was healthy enough to compete.
#Reports have indicated that Pinder was nursing an injury after the meet in Glasgow. He was unavailable for comments to clarify his position.
#While Sands will serve as the team manager, Rupert Gardiner will travel as the relay coordinator as the men’s 4 x 400 team start to get their “synergy” for the inaugural IAAF World Relays. Dr Phil Claussen out of Chicago will be assisting the team as the chiropractor.
#Veteran coach Keith Parker, who heads the local organising committee for the IAAF World Relays, will assist Gardiner as a coach.
#“When there is good intention to work together, nothing is impossible,” said Sands about not taking a full compliment of staff on the management team. “The people who wish to see progress are prepared to work together and so things come together because everybody pulls their weight.”
#Grafton Ifill II, who serves as the government liaison on the LOC for the World Relays, will also be a part of the Bahamian delegation that will participate in a series of meetings, along with Sands and Parker, with the IAAF to give an update of the plans for the World Relays.
#As for the expectations for the team, Sands said he’s never one to go on record and make any predictions on medal hauls for the team.
#“But the fact that all of these athletes have met the qualifying standards, I anticipate that we will do extremely well in all of the events that we are entered in,” Sands said. “I don’t want to put any undue pressure on the athletes, but when you look at Chris Brown, he is a bronze medallist from the last World Indoor Championships and what is encouraging about Chris is that he’s opened this indoor season with the fastest time for his career indoors.
#“Of course, Shaunae, as a young lady, is coming into her own with almost every race. In the last few meets that she competed in, she has broken the meet record. So it gives an indication of her fitness level. Donald is becoming very consistent in the high jump, of course, Ryan is the baby of the team, but he has a very promising career and so we are looking for him to improve and do very well.
#“Warren is also coming into his own. Earlier in the season, he had one of the better 60m times when he met his qualifying standard. Adrian has been very consistent, so overall, and of course we can’t discount the men’s 4 x 400 relay team. They are the defending Olympic champions. That itself will lend to the pride when they step into the arena and the fact that Ramon, the anchor man, decided to concentrate on the relay, should tell you how focused they are.”
#Athletes in the individual events will be vying for cash prizes of $40,000 for first place, $20,000 for second, $10,000 for third, $8,000 for fourth, $6,000 for fifth and $4,000 for sixth place. The relay teams will be sharing the same amount for each of the top six positions.
#A bonus incentive of $50,000 will be presented to the recipients of any world record.
#Here’s a look at the wvents and schedule for the Bahamian team:
#Day one morning session – Friday, March 7
#4:05pm – Women’s 400m heats – Shaunae Miller
#4:45am – Men’s 400m – Chris Brown
#Day one afternoon session – Friday, May 7
#12:35pm – Men’s 60m heats – Warren Fraser and Adrian Griffith
#3:25pm – Men’s 400m semifinal – Chris Brown
#Day two morning session – Saturday, March 8
#4:40am – Women’s 60m heats – Sheniqua Ferguson
#5:50am – Men’s 4 x 400m relay heats – Chris Brown, Ramon Miller, Latoy Williams, Andretti Bain and Michael Mathieu.
#6:05am – Men’s high jump qualifying round – Donald Thomas and Ryan Ingraham
#Day two afternoon session – Saturday, March 8
#12:30pm – Men’s 60m semifinal – Warren Fraser and Adrian Griffith
#1:40pm – Women’s 400m final – Shaunae Miller
#2:30pm – Men’s 400m final – Chris Brown
#3pm – Men’s 60m final – Warren Fraser and Adrian Griffith
#Day three final session – Sunday, March 9
#9:15am – Women’s 60m semifinal – Sheniqua Ferguson
#10:30am – Men’s high jump final – Donald Thomas and Ryan Ingraham
#12:05pm – Women’s 60m final – Sheniqua Ferguson
#12:40pm – Men’s 4 x 400m relay final – Chris Brown, Ramon Miller, Latoy Williams, Andretti Bain and Michael Mathieu.