Jones, Strachan on the rise

|Sports|Jones, Strachan on the riseSports

Bahamian young men reaching global standards; first and second in the world in their respective disciplines

Sheldon LongleySend an emailApril 18, 2023 339 3 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 Bahamian Terrence Jones has tied The Bahamas’ national record in the men’s 100m and could be a force at this summer’s world championships. He has clocked a wind-legal 9.91 seconds and is at number one on the world’s top performance list for 2023.

Led by a pair of young men who are looking to make their mark in athletics globally, The Bahamas is setting itself up for a strong performance at this summer’s world championships.

Terrence Jones and Keyshawn Strachan are both national record holders in their respective disciplines – the men’s 100 meters (m) and the men’s javelin – and both are young rising stars in athletics.

Jones tied a 16-year-old Bahamian national record at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational in Gainesville, Florida, on Saturday. When Jones said his coach had visions of him running 9.8 this season, many thought it might have been a bit far-fetched for the Bahamian who had never cracked the 10-second barrier prior to this season. In fact, no Bahamian other than national record holder Derrick Atkins had accomplished that.

Jones showed that not only is he on target to accomplish that 9.8 milestone, but that he could be a force at this summer’s world championships as well, possibly in contention for a medal.

Just 20, the Bahamian collegiate athlete at Texas Tech University, a junior, ran a blistering 9.91 seconds to win the college men’s 100m on Saturday. He was in a class by himself, the only one in the field to go under 10 seconds, and in so doing, became just the second Bahamian behind Atkins to run sub-10. He can also lay claim to being the fastest Bahamian man ever, tying Atkins’ 16-year-old national record.

Jones, who won the 60m dash at the 2023 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I (DI) Indoor Championships, is the only collegiate athlete to run sub-10 in the men’s 100m outdoors so far this season. His teammate Courtney Lindsey was second in that race on Saturday in a time of 10.04 seconds, and Florida State University’s (FSU) Amir Willis was third, finishing in 10.08 seconds.

The blazing time by Jones ties the Bahamian national record of 9.91 seconds that was done by Atkins for the silver medal at the 2007 Osaka World Championships, it is a qualifying time for this year’s world championships, and it is the fastest time in the world for 2023. His previous personal best in the men’s 100m was 10.03 seconds, ran at the NCAA East Preliminaries in Fayetteville, Arkansas, last year.

In addition to his world lead in the 100m, Jones is third in the world on World Athletics Top Performance list for 2023 in the men’s 200m, with a personal best of 20.05 seconds that was ran at the Texas Relays at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas, a couple weeks ago.

Jones is one of eight Bahamian athletes to qualify for the Budapest World Championships so far, and he is the only one to do so in two individual events (men’s 100 and 200m). The others are Steven Gardiner (men’s 200m), Alonzo Russell (men’s 400m), LaQuan Nairn (men’s long jump), Anthonique Strachan (women’s 100m), TyNia Gaither (women’s 200m), Devynne Charlton (women’s 100m hurdles) and Charisma Taylor (women’s triple jump).

Keyshawn Strachan may not be among the qualifiers as yet, but the 19-year-old is on track to get there, throwing a massive personal best of 84.27m (276’ 5”) in the men’s javelin at the Texas Relays. He was back in action over the weekend and the Auburn University freshman picked up another victory, throwing 76.97m (252’ 6”) at the Tom Jones Memorial in Gainesville. He was followed by Baylor University’s Chinecherem Nnamdi with a throw of 70.75m (232’ 1”), and Louisiana State University’s (LSU) Jackson Rimes recorded a throw of 65.23m (214’) to place third.

The qualifying mark in the men’s javelin for the athletics world championships is 85.20m (279’ 6”) and Strachan is just shy of that mark. He is at number two in the world for 2023, trailing just D.P. Manu, of India, who had a world-leading throw of 84.33m (276’ 8”) in Bengaluru, India, over the weekend.

Strachan is the national record holder in the men’s javelin, owning the 13 best throws in Bahamian history. The next closest to him is Denzel Pratt who had a best effort of 70.72m (232’) in 2017. Since Strachan initially broke Pratt’s national record in 2021, he has owned that event here in The Bahamas and pretty much in the region, too.

Other Bahamians in the top 20 globally outdoors include Anthonique Strachan, who is tied for seventh in the women’s 100m (11.02 seconds) and 15th in the women’s 200m (22.70 seconds); Anthaya Charlton, who is 17th in the women’s 100m (11.13 seconds); her older sister Devynne Charlton, who is sixth in the women’s 100m hurdles (12.64 seconds); Charisma Taylor, who is 13th in the women’s triple jump (13.58m – 44’ 6-3/4”); Steven Gardiner, who is tied for seventh in the men’s 200m (20.14 seconds); Alonzo Russell, who is eighth in the men’s 400m (44.73 seconds) and Shaun Miller Jr., who is in an 11-way tie for 17th in the men’s high jump (2.20m – 7’ 2-1/2”).

The 19th World Athletics Championships is set for August 19-27 at the National Athletics Centre in Budapest, Hungary.

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