YOUNG athletes take part in the BAAAs test event for the 3rd IAAF World Relays Bahamas - the event is set to be held April 22-23 at Thomas A Robinson National Stadium.
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
BAHAMAS Association of Athletic Associations’ president Rosamunde Carey said she feels the Local Organising Committee is ready to host the third version of the IAAF World Relays next month.
The BAAA held a test event on Saturday and Sunday, featuring the high school teams that participated in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s National High School Track and Field Championships.
The teams competed in the same format of events that will be contested during the World Relays set for April 22-23 at Thomas A Robinson National Stadium.
“We felt that the test event went very well,” said Carey following the busy weekend. “The test event was for us to test all of the logistics for the World Relays. We had very few hiccups that we will have to address.
“But as far as the event itself, we thought it was a resounding success. The senior directors from each department have not yet formally met to discuss the event, but from all indications from them, there were very minimum things that we would have to improve for the actual event.”
One of the things that will have to get immediate attention is the jumbotron on the southern end of the stadium in front of the finish line. The large mintor board had a malfunction and was not used during the Test Event.
The National Sports Authority has indicated that they experienced some mechanical problems as a result of the passing of Hurricane Matthew last year and they are just waiting on a part to be delivered to the Bahamas to fix the problem.
While everything else for the most part seemed to be in place, the BAAA capitalized on the more than 600 athletes from 44 schools that participated in the three-day nationals that were held from Wednesday to Friday to be featured in the Test Event and based on the results turned in, Carey said she was quite impressed.
“I thought the New Providence schools were a bit relaxed and they didn’t think that they were going to get the stiff competition that they got from the Family Island schools, in particular North Andros, who won the boys 4 x 400m relay,” Carey said.
“So for us, we’re elated because it means that we are looking for a very solid showing at the Carifta trials that will be held next weekend.”
The top eight schools in each of the relays contested this weekend will be invited back to compete for the Golden Baton as the champions of the junior segment of the World Relays, which is expected to surpass the record of 514 athletes from 42 countries in 2015 when the second edition was held.
The United States, the two-time champions of the Golden Baton, will headline the list of participants in the 4 x 100m, 4 x 200m, 4 x 400m and 4 x 800m for both men and women, as well as the introduction of the mixed 4 x 400m relay for men and women that will close out the competition.
Based on the performances turned in, Carey said they should have a very competitive Carifta trials next week Thursday to Saturday as they prepare to select the national team to compete in the Carifta Games in Curacao over the Easter holiday weekend.
“We’re looking for a very exciting season for our junior athletes,” Carey summed up. “We have some really good meets coming up for them to compete in.”
Immediately following the Carifta trials, the BAAA will be selecting a team to participate in the 8th IAAF World Youth for under-18 athletes in Nairobi, Kenya and the sixth Commonwealth Youth Games here from July 19-23 for more than 1,000 athletes between the ages of 14-18 years in seven different disciplines.