The Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) has ratified the Bahamian team that will be leaving tomorrow for Buenos Aires, Argentina, set for competition in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. The games get underway on October 6 and end October 18.
The team is comprised of five track and field athletes and two swimming athletes. There are two coaches, a chef de mission and a deputy chef de mission.
Megan Moss, Shaun Miller Jr., Matthew Thompson, Raymond Oriakhi and Adrian Curry are the track and field athletes. The swimming athletes are Victoria Russell and Izaak Bastian.
Sara Knowles (swimming) and Stephen Murray (track and field) are the coaches. The team is led by Chef de Mission Clarence Rolle and he will be assisted by Oria Wood-Knowles.
It is regarded as a small but powerful team that has the potential to bring back some hardware.
Bastian will be swimming in four events — the men’s 50 meters (m) freestyle, and the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke events. He will be the first one on the team to see competition. Bastian will swim in the 100m breaststroke on Sunday, October 7.
Bastian represented The Bahamas at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games this past summer, and despite failing to win a medal, he advanced through the rounds in a number of his events.
At the CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Jamaica this year, the Florida State University (FSU) athlete smashed the 15-17 boys 200m breaststroke record. He swam 2.17.78 to lower the record from 2.20.18. Bastian also broke the 50m breast record by 0.39 seconds, swimming 28.69 seconds. He was the captain of the team.
Russell was also a member of the CARIFTA team this year. She swam a personal best time of 26.95 seconds in the 50m butterfly at the Bahamas Aquatics Federation’s (BAC) National Swimming Championships in June.
As it relates to the track team, Coach Murray said: “This is a very odd track meet for us, because the kids are not track ready like we normally are. Most of them are training with their coaches and they were putting in some extra work to get ready for this particular event.”
This time of year is considered the end of the track season and athletes are winding down, mentally preparing for the following year.
The lone female on the track team, Moss, is the reigning CARIFTA champion and record-holder in the under-17 girls 400m. She broke the record in March in The Bahamas with a time of 53.19 seconds. The record was held by The Bahamas’ Olympic gold medalist Shaunae Miller-Uibo.
Shaun Miller Jr. has a personal best leap of 2.11m (6’ 11”) in the high jump. He recorded that mark at the 10th and final International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Under-18 Championships, in Nairobi, Kenya, last year. Miller won the high jump event at the Bahamas Association of Athletics Associations’ (BAAA) Youth and Junior National Championships in June with a height of 2.10m (6’ 10-1/2”).
Thompson will be running in the 400m hurdles. His personal best in that event is 53.91 seconds — a time he ran back in June of this year.
Oriakhi turned heads at this year’s CARIFTA Championships when he won the under-17 boys’ 400m silver medal with a time of 47.75 seconds. That was a personal best time for him. He will be looking to lower that record in Argentina.
Curry is one of the country’s top junior sprinters. He captured the silver medal at CARIFTA, running a blistering 10.43 seconds, a personal and season’s best time for him. He finished behind teammate Joel Johnson, who ran a personal best time of 10.31 seconds.
Curry battled some injuries this year, but had some time to recover and is expected to be ready for the Youth Olympics.
Jump Line – The team is comprised of five track and field athletes and two swimmers.