JOB WELL DONE: Prime Minister Perry Christie (3rd from left) and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr Daniel Johnson (3rd from right) share a special moment with the gold-medal winning mixed relay team of Steven Gardiner (far left), Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Anthonique Strachan and Michael Mathieu (far right). Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune staff
#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#One gold medal and two qualifications for the IAAF World Championships was what Team Bahamas mustered at the 3rd IAAF/BTC World Relays at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium over the weekend.
#For Rosamunde Carey, the president of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations, the performances were not what she expected, but she was still satisfied.
#“I thought that Team Bahamas had some misses, but I was really pleased with what we accomplished,” said Carey, who also serves as the chief executive officer of the Local Organising Committee for the World Relays.
#At the end of the two-day championships, the Bahamas picked up a gold medal from the mixed gender 4 x 400 metre team of Steven Gardiner, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Anthonique Strachan and Michael Mathieu.
#The women’s 4 x 100m relay teams of Devine Parker, Brianne Bethel, Tyler Carter and Tynia Gaither and the men’s team of Warren Fraser, Shavez Hart, Cliff Resias and Adrian Griffith also booked their tickets to London, England, for the IAAF World Championships in August. However, the men and women 4 x 400m teams both fell short.
#“We were pleased that the men’s 4 x 1 got in, but we knew that the women’s 4 x 1 had a very good chance of qualifying,” she said. “We were really pleased that we now have two of our relay teams qualified. So that takes the pressure off our athletes in those events. We now have to focus on the 4 x 400m teams. They will be going to the Penn Relays next week and, with the men sitting in the ninth spot and the women in 11th, we’re hoping that they can produce the times so that they can get to compete.”
#Carey said that while they had the athletes at home in the training camp to qualify in all four relays, things didn’t pan out as expected for the 4 x 4 teams.
#“We know we can field a full slate of relays in London,” she said. “So that is what we are working towards right now.”
#While both the men and women 4 x 4 teams didn’t make it to the A final, which would have given them automatic berths into the World Championships, the ladies’ team withdrew from the B final after Miller and Strachan concentrated on competing in the mixed relay.
#“We also had some problems with one of our reserves, Wendira Moss, who had to be pulled from the team at the last minute to go back to school, which was very disappointing,” Carey said.
#“And Rashan Brown said she felt a slight injury right after she ran in the heat. She did not run at her full potential because she felt that she had a slight strain and we were not able to field a 4 x 4 team.”
#With the team not able to run, Carey said the focus switched to the mixed gender relay where Team Bahamas got the first victory to ascend the medal podium and have the national anthem played in the stadium during the award ceremony.
#“She was a great team player,” Carey said. “She ran a great first leg and put the team in contention in the 4 x 4. We just fell short in the end. But we got redemption in the mixed relay.”
#With the Penn Relays, scheduled for this weekend in Philadelphia, Carey said they will be sending the two 4 x 4 teams to ensure that they put in a time that will keep them within the top 16 to be able to compete in London.
#She noted that while Ramon Miller is scheduled to compete, they will be without the services of Miller-Uibo, Gardiner and Chris ‘Fireman’ Brown, who are all sponsored by adidas and are committed to competing in the Drake Relays at the same time.
#“The Bahamas has had some great relationships with Penn’s and we were invited back to compete. We know that the women’s team will struggle, but we are confident that they will give it their best shot.
#“Once that’s done, we expect that we will have our collegiate athletes who will be available to compete in meets after the NCAA Championships in June and so we still have some time to qualify.”
#The Bahamas is now preparing to host the 2019 edition of the World Relays, just after they stage the 2018 Carifta Games. So there’s still a lot of work to be done from both the administrative to the athletic side of the event.
#“The planning has just begun with Keith Parker, Lionel Haven and myself,” she pointed out. “We are going to have a meeting to sit down and determine what went wrong and what areas we need to improve on.
#“I know one of the things that we had some issues with were the accreditation. We had some people in some areas who should not have been given accreditation. So that is something the international body responsible was concerned about.”
#Originally, Carey said they had pegged about 4,000 to be accredited, but once the process began, it swelled to more than 6,900.
#“A lot of persons got in, who should not have been accredited,” she pointed out. “But overall, I would say that the reports coming back to us are that all of the teams and the athletes enjoyed themselves and they are committed to coming back.”
#Carey thanked all of those persons who served as volunteers in making sure that the event was a success, despite any hiccups that they might have experienced