By BRENT STUBBS
It’s not how you start, nor how you get there. Most importantly, it’s how you finish
• The Finish Line, a weekly column, seeks to comment on the state of affairs in local sports, highlighting the highs and the lows, the thrills and the spills and the successes and failures.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
This is the time of the year that all sports fanatics relish in.
It’s the National Championships and the Bahamas Swimming Federation and the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations are clashing at the same time.
It reminds me of travelling to cover an Olympic or Commonwealth Games where you have to shuffle from one venue to the other to view the Bahamian athletes in action.
The BSF and the BAAA Nationals will be held in adjacent venues with swimming being staged at the Betty Kelly Kenning Swim Complex and the track and field at the new Thomas A Robinson National Stadium.
Both venues are buzzing with activities, but so far swimming has drawn a lot of the attention with more spectators in the stands, due largely to the fact that their arena is not as large as where the track and field is being staged.
Plus, there are a number of international swimmers in town as they attempt to represent their country by producing the qualifying standards for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August.
The Bahamas, on the other hand, has four competitors who are hoping to secure their berths in Rio. Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace leads the charge. She has automatically qualified in two events. Elvis Burrows, Dustin Tynes and Joanna Evans have done the B standard and are waiting on the final
If the line-up of international stars in town is any indication, the swimming nationals could end up being one of the most competitive ever. There are already talks of a number of Bahamas Open records falling, as a result of the stiff competition on tap.
The BAAA has finally gotten their nationals to be staged in the new TAR Stadium. It got started on Wednesday with the junior nationals, but obviously there were some disappointments.
One of the major ones was the fact that not all of the match-ups anticipated were materialised as there were some events that had very few entries.
It has been drawn to our attention that some of the athletes were unable to make it out of Grand Bahama because of a lack of funding to cover both their airfares and accommodations. This is an issue that should have been addressed prior to the start of the nationals as coaches should have been aware whether or not their athletes would be able to travel and not wait until the day before the meet.
With the senior nationals taking place tonight and Saturday, we’re hoping that the match-ups will pan out as many are looking forward to the showdown in the various divisions.
These are the nationals and they will serve as the qualifiers for athletes and swimmers wishing to compete on the various national teams this summer.
In the case of the swimmers, many of them will be back as early as next week to compete in the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships at the same venue. So this is just what the doctor ordered in terms of getting them ready for the competition that will be coming from the 30-plus countries expected to compete in the CISC from Wednesday to Sunday.
The good thing about this weekend’s sports festival is that you can walk from one venue to the other to experience the high level of competition that will be on display.
Neither sporting body should have to worry about the other. They all have some outstanding athletes for the public to come out and watch. So take your pick - swimming or athletics or both. There’s going to be even action to tickle your fancy over the next few days.