By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
AFTER turning in a sub-par performance at the Commonwealth Games in April that resulted in a first round exit in the Gold Coast, Australia, Carl Hield is looking to redeem himself when he travels to the Central American and Caribbean Games next month in Barranquilla, Colombia.
Hield, the country's top amateur boxer, is expected to be the lone competitor carrying the flag in the boxing ring when the games are staged from July 19 to August 3. However, the Bahamas Olympic Committee, which is responsible for the team, has not yet announced who will travel to compete.
Still in Cuba, Hield is in a training camp with boxers from Trinidad & Tobago, Colombia, Guatemala, Germany and the Cuban national teams as they prepare for the games.
"My training has been going good. I'm getting in some quality sparring and you could see the difference," Hield said. "I'm just looking at going to Colombia and getting another medal."
Hield, 31, lost a 5-0 decision to Terry Nicholas from Australia in the first round of 32 in the men's 69 kilogram class. The bronze medallist in the 2010 games in New Delhi, India, said he felt that the referee didn't give him a chance to establish himself in the fight.
Having qualified for the CAC Games at a tournament in Tijuana, Mexico in March, Hield said his goal is to go back to the games and win another medal.
"The Commonwealth Games, I feel, has prepared me for CAC, but my training hasn't changed," Hield said. "It's just that the referee at the Commonwealth Games didn't allow me to get into my rhythm and so every time I tried to perform, she stopped me. I haven't changed my training from then to now.
"I am still looking forward to putting on the same type of performance. But I've gotten in more sparring and so I hope I won't have a judge like the one in Australia, who was new on the scene. I am looking forward to going to Colombia and put on a show. I want to get to the final again and hopefully win another medal."
Before he leaves on July 20, Hield intends to come home for a few days to work out all of the details with the BOC and the Bahamas Amateur Boxing Federation, headed by Vincent Strachan. While his coach in Cuba, Steven Cellular, will be in Colombia, Hield said he's not sure yet who will travel from the Bahamas.
Whoever makes the trip, Hield said he hopes that they will be able to collaborate on his technique before he goes into the ring because it will be important to be on the same page, so there would be minimum disruption in his plans for the games.
"From the Commonwealth Games, I haven't stopped training. That's why I believe I am 100 per cent ready for CAC," Hield said. "From I came back, we had a lot of boxers from the other countries here so I was able to get that good glove work that I needed. I got more sparring this time, so I am more prepared."
Hield said he's so prepared that he won't allow anything to distract him because he wants to go to Colombia and accomplish his ultimate goal of winning a medal.