Thursday, April 12, 2018
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
GOLD Coast, Australia — Team manager Ralph McKinney said everything is looking good for the athletic team.
“Hopefully we can break through the medal ceiling with the two high jumpers. That can get the ball rolling,” said McKinney before Jamal Wilson clinched the first medal in the men’s high jump final. “In the Bahamas, we quantify performances by medals, not just by advancing to the semi-finals, which a lot of people have done with the exception of one person.
“We want more than that. We want to be in the final so that we can actually go out there and try and win something.”
McKinney said all of the athletes are upbeat in the Games Village where they have the males located on one floor in their dormitories, while the females are on another floor. He said while the boxing, triathlon and swimming teams have already left, the athletic team is in the village with the cycling, table tennis and wrestling teams.
“Everything is going good. We are preparing the athletes who haven’t competed yet for their events over the last few days of the meet.”
Included in the list are the women’s 4 x 100 and men’s 4 x 400 metre teams. Unfortunately for the women, Tynia Gaither did not make the trip here as she is nursing an injury.
“She had a recurring injury prior to the start of the games, so she is in the US undergoing therapy so that she will be ready to compete later this summer, hopefully at the Central American and Caribbean Games,” McKinney said. “But we will make do with what we have.
“The way the roster is set up, anyone on the team can be a part of the relay team. So we can use any of the other females to make up the relay team. The list includes Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Anthonique Strachan, V’Alonee Robinson, Tamara Myers, Katrina Seymour and Bianca Stuart.”
At the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the Bahamas failed to get on the podium in the women’s 4 x 100m. The team of Seymour, Sheniqua ‘Q’ Ferguson, Cache Armbrister and Nivea Smith ran 44.25 for sixth place. Jamaica won the gold, Nigeria got the silver and the bronze went to England.
As for the men’s 4 x 400m relay team, McKinney said although Michael Mathieu ran through to the semifinal of the men’s 400m, he anticipate that he will be well rested to join team-mates Ramon Miller, Stephen Newbold, Alonzo Russell, Ojay Ferguson and Teray Smith. Ferguson replaced Steven Gardiner, who was originally named to the team, but opted not to travel here to compete.
Over the weekend, Gardiner ran 19.75 seconds to erase Mathieu’s previous 200m national record. Gardiner is now the holder of both the men’s 200 and 400m records.
At the last Commonwealth Games, the men’s team of Latoy Williams, Mathieu, Russell, Chris ‘Fireman’ Brown and Andretti Bain ran 3:00.51 for the silver behind England. Trinidad & Tobago got the bronze.
McKinney said the athletes were in practice with coaches Rupert Gardiner and Frank ‘Pancho’ Rahming at the time of the interview.
The last Bahamian who will compete in an individual event is Latario Minns in the men’s triple jump. His qualifying round will take place at the Carrara Stadium on Thursday at 10:30 am where he will be sixth of ten jumpers in Group B. The top 12 competitors out of the two groups of 10 each will advance to the final that will be held on Saturday during the final day of competition at 3:15 pm.
“He had two track meets this year and when I looked at his videos, I saw some things that I was able to work out to get him ready in time to compete,” Pratt said. “By tomorrow (today), there’s a possibility that he could be in the top three or the top four. He should definitely get into the final.”
As for the rest of the tam, Pratt said that he felt that across the board, the athletes competing here could and should have been better prepared physiologically to compete.
“Management needed some more time so that we could have sorted out some things so that we can get better maximization of the athletes,” Pratt said.