D’Arcy Rahming, president of the Bahamas Judo Federation (BJF), said they are comfortable and confident right now.
“The preparations are going absolutely fantastic. In fact, we had our final tournament in Rhode Island. It was a great tournament because we got to compete against people we weren’t competitive with a few years ago. We were able to come away with the Best Team trophy. We know we are on the right track. We also beat a number of top American black belts, some of the number one that are coming down here, so we are comfortable and confident with the preparations.”
The training for the team has been extensive. They are training twice a day, mornings and afternoons from Monday to Thursday. They also train on Saturday.
Most of the team are student-athletes. Some are at the University of The Bahamas with the rest in high schools.
Rahming said this event will be the largest in terms of diversity of teams in the history of The Bahamas.
“This place is going to be unbelievable. This is the largest tournament in terms of diversity of countries ever in the history of this country and our country knows how to do it right. We will put on a great show for them. We will make sure they are comfortable. We will make sure they have a nice nap after their beating from us.”
Volunteering for the event has been going well. He said he can use some more.
“It has been going well. The volunteers, the technical operations people, the hospitality persons are all in line. We can still use a few more volunteers because the event takes place over five days.”
He said sponsors have been good to them but they can use more sponsors. He added that the Government of The Bahamas supported them. They are excited about it. He is looking for corporate sponsorship because the government cannot do everything.
He stressed that this event for the local athletes are not one and done. With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics two years away, some of these athletes will be battling to be in Tokyo. So, the federation can have a long-term relationship with sponsors.
They will be up against top teams such as Japan, Mongolia, Russia and Azerbaijan. Rahming said he is confident that Team Bahamas will medal and see some good action.
The female team members are Jasmine Russell (U44kg), Mya Beneby (U57kg), Raven Pennerman (U70kg), Breanna Major (U70kg) and Sasha Lightbourne (U78+).
The male team members are Jevon Bethel (U60kg), Davante Sweeting (U66kg), Desmond Bootle (U66kg), Andrew Munnings (U73kg), Desmond Bootle (U73kg), Lyle Sherman (U81kg), Desmondo Bootle (U81kg), Daleon Sweeting (U90kg) and Larry Marshall (U100kg).
Coaching the team are D’Arcy Rahming Jr., Oneysi Pons, D’Arcy Rahming, Liber Estrada, Lidisy Perez, Omri Kelly, D’Arcy Rahming and Rhadi Ferguson.