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'It's An Honour Because You Get To Represent The Region, Which Means That You Are One Of The Best'

By BRENT STUBBS

Senior Sports Reporter

bstubbs@tribunemedia.net

THEY’VE had slightly different paths on the athletic circuit this year, but quarter-miler Chris ‘Fireman’ Brown and sprinter Anthonique Strachan are pleased that they will both have the opportunity to represent the Americas team at the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) Continental Cup.

The duo are preparing to compete in the prestigious meet for the Americas team against Europe, Asia/Pacific and Africa over the weekend of September 13-14 in Marrakesh, Morocco. While Brown will be returning for his second appearance to compete on the men’s 4 x 400 metre relay, Strachan will be making her debut in the women’s 200m.

“It’s an honour because you get to represent the region, which means that you are one of the best,” said Brown, who currently is listed as the No. sixth best quarter-miler in the Americas. “So I feel it’s an honour and a privilege for me to be a part of the team.”

For 21-year-old Strachan, who has ran a season’s best of 22.50 seconds in Shanghai, China, on May 18, being selected to compete in the 200m has motivated her even more.

“I feel really excited about it because the Continental Cup happens every so often and so to be selected is a very great achievement for me,” Strachan said.

“It’s a good thing to have on my r�sum� for track and field to say that I was able to go because I have one of the best times in my region or I’m the best person right now for our region.

“I think that says a lot for me to be selected because in our region, we have Jamaica and the United States, who have a lot of top sprinters. So it’s amazing to know that I have been given the opportunity to represent the entire Caribbean and the United States.”

After getting hurt during the season, Strachan said she was surprised that she got selected, considering that she had to skip the trip to Glasgow, Scotland, to compete in the Commonwealth Games in August as she nursed the injury.

“I feel like somebody at Commonwealth Games could have knocked me out of the Continental Cup, but I’m happy that I am entered to compete for the region.”

As he reflects on his season so far, 35-year-old Brown said to be able to start off running a personal best for a silver medal in the 400m at the IAAF World Indoors in Sopot, Poland, to ending up with a silver as a member of the men’s 4 x 400m relay team at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, Brown said he’s grateful for the talent that God has blessed him with.

“Without him I wouldn’t be able to do it,” he said. “I had a long indoor season that culminated with a silver medal and to come out this season and run a 44.95 for a season’s best outdoors, it’s just been a good ride and a great experience and I’ve been having fun doing it.

“It’s just a joy to be able to represent the Bahamas and to keep our name in the forefront, so I just give God praise for all that he has done for me this year.”

Since competing at the Commonwealth Games, in which he had to skip the 400m final because of falling ill, Brown went to the Sainsbury’s Summer Series at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium on August 24 where he placed fifth in 45.85 as Grenada’s Commonwealth champion Kirani James won in 44.59 and then at the Weltklasse Zurich meet on August 28 where he again placed fifth in 45.25 as American LaShawn Merritt won in 44.36.

“For me this year, I was trying something different. I was trying to put my body in a position so that I can be good for 2016, but to go up against Kirani and LaShawn, the world’s two best quarter-milers, I just went out there and gave it my best,” pointed out Brown, who ran a season’s best of 44.59 in Lausanne, Switzerland on July 3 at a Diamond League meet.

“It was a great experience and I only could do what I could do. To keep up with those two guys, it’s another level. There are eight lanes on the track and I’m just blessed that I’ve been afforded the opportunity to get one to race against them. I just hope to stay consistent and keep the longevity going because my goal is really to get on the podium next year (at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China) and again in 2016 (at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).”

As she indicated, Strachan had to sit out the Commonwealth Games because of an injury she sustained, but it’s been a bitter-sweet season for her so far.

“I really wanted to go to the Commonwealth Games because it would have been my first,” she said.

“But the Commonwealth Games is going to come again just like how every other event comes. My chances are great for me to go to the Commonwealth Games and hopefully I won’t be injured when it’s time for me to go.

“But right now, the Continental Cup is the next meet for me to go to. I can’t worry about the Commonwealth Games because it’s gone and I missed out on a chance to compete. So I’m just going to go to the Continental Cup and enjoy myself just like I do at any other track meet and just hope and pray for the best.”

Prior to competing in Marrakesh, Strachan is scheduled to leave today for the AG Insurance Memorial Van Damme at the Brussels “King Baudouin Stadium” on Friday where she will get a tune up in the 200m where she is sitting in fifth place in the IAAF Diamond League standings with three points.

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