By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
While they had to skip the training camp because of a lack of funding, the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations has confirmed that the Bahamas’ contingent of 37 persons will be leaving on Monday from various sites for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
BAAA treasurer Philippa Arnett-Willie said up to Wednesday, the BAAA still had not secured the necessary funding for the contingent, including 23 athletes, 11 members of the coaching staff and three officials who will be attending the IAAF Congress prior to the start of the championships set for August 10-18.
On Monday, Arnett-Willie said they received $1,500 from Diamonds International at a reception for the team on Tuesday, but they are in need of about $60,000 alone to purchase the tickets for the entire team.
“We will leave on Monday, but we really need the funding,” Arnett-Willie said. “The tickets are around $2,100 per person and with each day that we don’t purchase them, the prices increase. But we’re hopeful that before the end of the week, we will get the funding.”
Team manager Ralf McKinney was in Cuba on Wednesday collecting the passports for those persons who were just getting their visas for entry into Russia. He said that the team should be in Moscow by Tuesday, which should give them sufficient time to get acclimatised before the championships begin on Saturday, August 10.
“All of the bookings for the tickets are in place,” McKinney said. “I have the passports for those who have to travel. I will be bringing them back today. So everybody should be ready to go on Monday.”
Leaving from the Lynden Pindling International Airport on Monday with the team personnel are sprinters Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, Cache Armbrister and Warren Fraser, quartermilers Ramon Miller and Ojay Ferguson and high jumper Ryan Ingraham. Sprinters Nivea Smith and Myrian Myfield, as well as hurdler Jeffery Gibson, are expected to depart from Grand Bahama.
Expected to travel from various parts out of the United States are sprinters Adrian Griffith, Jamial Rolle, Trevorvano Mackey and Shavaz Hart, quartermilers Chris “Fireman” Brown, Michael Mathieu, Latoy Williams, Shaunae Miller, Shekeitha Henfield, Amara Jones, Cortrell Martin and Lanece Rolle and high jumper Donald Thomas.
Sprinters Anthonique Strachan and Sheniqua ‘Q’ Ferguson, along with long jumper Bianca ‘BB’ Stuart are currently in Germany in a training camp with the Auburn Elite group, headed by Henry Rolle. They will make the trek to Moscow from there to meet up with the team on Tuesday.
Sprinter Derrick Atkins was also scheduled to make the trip but he opted not to travel after he suffered a back injury.
Despite the late departure to the championships, McKinney said he’s confident that the team will be ready to compete and give their best showing.
McKinney said they would have liked to have had the entire team together in a training camp prior to the start of the championships, but they had to call it off because of a lack of funding.