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Team Bahamas Gets Set For Iaaf World Indoors

By BRENT STUBBS Senior Sports Reporter bstubbs@tribunemedia.net Chris 'Fireman' Brown is expected to defend his 400 metres title and Chandra Sturrup is back for another 60m medal as they head the Bahamas' nine-member team for the 13th IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics. The veteran duo will be joined by World Outdoor high jump gold and bronze medallists Donald Thomas and Trevor Barry, long jump sensation Bianca Stuart and quarter-milers Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu, LaSean Pickstock and Jameison Strachan. Brown, Sturrup, Thomas, Barry, Stuart and Demetrius all earned the rights to travel to the championships - slated to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, March 9-11 - by virtue of making the qualifying standards. Mathieu, Pickstock and Strachan have been added to make up the men's 4 x 400 relay team with Brown and Pinder. Roosevelt Thompson will travel as the head of the delegation and Keith Parker will serve as the coach. Releasing the names of the athletes, Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations president Mike Sands said based on their performances so far, the Bahamas should be well represented at the championships. "Chris is the defending champion and he has always been a fierce competitor," Sands said. "I expect that he will be pumped and ready to go to defend his title." Brown, 34, claimed the gold at the 12th championships in Doha, Qatar, last year after he had to settle for the bronze twice in Moscow, Russia, in 2006 and 2008 in Valencia, Spain. "The 4 x 4 is a very solid team with the guys I mentioned. Demetrius has been running extremely well and so I also expect that he will give a very good account of himself," Sands said. "Combined with the other guys, I expect them to be a force to reckon with in the relay." Sands, however, was more impressed with the comeback of Sturrup, who at age 41 is going for another indoor medal. She won a silver in 1997 in Paris, France, and the gold in 2001 in Lisbon, Portugal. "She's been there and done that," Sands said of Sturrup. "She has come back and come back with a bang, qualifying for the championships. So it's a testament to her fortitude." As for the high jumpers, Sands is hoping that they will both be in contention to add an indoor medal to the gold that Thomas won outdoors in 2007 in Osaka, Japan, and the bronze Barry claimed last year in Daegu, South Korea. "Trevor is coming off a stellar performance at the World Outdoors and in Europe and the few meets he did indoors this year," Sands said. "Donald has expressed that his confidence is coming back, even though he hasn't jumped in that many meets. "But at the end of the day, he has expressed the confidence that he will be ready to go and make a mark for himself, along with Trevor. Imagine having the two of them performing at their best at the same time." As one of the youngest members of the team, Sands said he has been pleased with the way Stuart has been improving and he anticipates that she will again produce another big performance. "All in all, the team is looking good and we are only looking for the best from all of them," he said. Team Bahamas is expected to head to Turkey on March 6. Here's a look at the team members: WOMEN Chandra Sturrup - 60 metres Bianca Stuart - long jump MEN Chris Brown - 400 metres Demetrius Pinder - 400 metres Donald Thomas - high jump Trevor Barry - high jump Michael Mathieu, LaSean Pickstock and Jameison Strachan - 4 x 400 relay Head of delegation - Roosevelt Thompson Coach - Keith Parker

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