Bahamian breaking records in javelin


Chief Sports Editor

Rhema Otabor, the newly minted Bahamian strongwoman, couldn’t ask for a better way to cap off an impressive collegiate career for the Nebraska Huskies.

At the National Collegiate Athletic Association Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, Otabor repeated as the women’s javelin champion, produced a collegiate lead, rewrote the meet, championship and Bahamas national records and booked her ticket to the 2024 Olympic Games.

The 21-year-old produced the fifth best throw in the world this year of 210-feet, 7-inches or 64.19 metres for her victory and led a field of Bahamians competing at the championships at the Hayward Field on Friday.

Her feat came on her fifth attempt as Otabor’s lifetime best enabled her to retain her title, rewrote the collegiate marks of 204-0 (62.19m) that was posted by Maggie Malone of Texas A&M to stamp her approval on her final collegiate meet for the Nebraska Huskies.

As she also eclipsed the Bahamian record of (62.72m) that Lavern Eve threw way back on April 22, 2000 in Nashville, Tennessee, Otabor surpassed the Olympic cut of 209-11 (64.00m) to qualify for the games from July 27 to August 11 in Paris.

“It’s an amazing honour. This is something that I was hoping would happen, so I feel good that it actually happened,” said Otabor about her back-to-back championship crown.

“I couldn’t ask for a better way to end my collegiate season.”

As for earning all of the accolades that included making it to the World Championships last year in Budapest, Hungary and earning a silver medal at the Pan American Games last year in Santiago, Chile, Otabor said she had the Olympics on her list this year.

“I really wanted to do something special with this being my final collegiate meet, so the records were all something for me to cherish,” Otabor said.

“But it was a dream for me to attain the Olympic qualifying standard. I still can’t believe that I did all of that in this meet.”

As she closed out her final year in grand style Otabor had to bounce back to surpass Lianna Davidson, a junior at Texas A&M, who led the competition from the first round with her mark of 199-2 (60.70m).

Anthaya Charlton

Charlton, now in her sophomore year at Florida had to settle for fourth place in the women’s long jump on Thursday with her best leap of 21-7 (6.59m) in the sixth and final round. Ackella Smith, a junior at Texas, got the title with 22-3 1⁄2 (6.74m) on her third attempt.

Keyshawn Strachan

The Auburn Tigers’ sophomore competed in the last of two flights in the men’s javelin on Wednesday. The strongman had a toss of 245-10 (74.95m) on his first attempt for fifth place. He scratched his second try, did 232-7 (70.91) on his third,239-11(73.11) on his fourth, scratched his fifth and closed out the competi- tion with 241-3 (73.54m) on his sixth.

Winning the title was Marc Minichello, a senior at Georgia, with 264-9 (80.70m) on his second attempt.

Wanya McCoy

The Florida junior had to settle for sixth place in the final of the men’s 100m in a time of 10.03 seconds on Friday. The event was won by Louie Hinchiffe, a sophomore of Houston, in a personal best of 9.95.

Less than an hour later, McCoy came back and finished ninth in the 200m in 20.98 as Cheickna Traore, senior at Penn State, took the title in 19.95.

On Thursday, McCoy advanced to the sprint double for the Gators. His first individual feat came in the 100m where he placed third in his heat in 10.15 for the seventh fastest qualifying time for the final.

He completed the preliminaries in the 200m where he was second in his heat in 20.22 for sixth place overall.

Javonya Valcourt

In her bid to advance to the final of the women’s 400m, the Tennessee sophomore fell short as she ended up seventh in her heat for 16th overall.

Valcourt’s time 51.99. Her team-mate Brianna White had the ninth and final qualifying time of 51.40.

Men’s 4 x 100m relay
While McCoy also helped Florida to pick up fourth place in the final of the men’s 4 x 100m relay on Friday, the duo of Terrence Jones and Antoine Andrews and Texas Tech did not finish the race.

In the preliminaries on Wednesday, McCoy and Florida won their heat in 38.45 for second overall behind Auburn in their leading season’s best of 28.38.

Texas Tech with Jones and Andrews running the second and anchor legs respectively, was second in their heat for sixth overall for the Red Raiders.

Women’s 4 x 400m relay

After falling short of qualifying for the final of the women’s 400m, Javonya Valcourt led the Tennessee women’s 4 x 400m relay team of Kyla Robinson-Hubbard, DaJour Miles and Brianna White to second place in 3:23.32. Their time was posted as the sixth-fastest in NCAA history and third on the 2024 world list.

The performance, however, was overshadowed by the incredible time of 3:17.96 that Arkansas’ quartet of Nickisha Pryce, Kaylan Brown, Amber Anning and Rosey Effion, established for the collegiate and world lead and both the meet and championship records.

The four ladies clinched the top four spots in the women’s 400m final.

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