By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
With all international travel being suspended by the Bahamas Government until further notice as a result of the spread of the coronavirus, the Bahamas Olympic Committee is also advising all sporting bodies to cease any further local competition until further notice.
In a statement released yesterday, BOC secretary general Derron Donaldson, since learning that a patient presented herself to the Princess Margaret Hospital on Friday and subsequently tested positive for the coronavirus, in an abundance of caution, the BOC is strongly recommending that all sporting activities within the respective federations, associations and clubs be suspended until more is learnt from the authorities. "We further, encourage you to advise your members to adhere to the safe hygiene practices presented by the Ministry of Health," Donaldson said. "Finally, please listen to credible new sources for further updates and do not rely on social media posts."
On Thursday during day one of the National High School Track and Field Championships at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture ceased competition between more than 80 schools, including those coming in from Grand Bahama and the Family Islands. More than 1,500 athletes had gathered at the stadium to compete in the meet.
At the same time, the ministry announced that they were suspending all international travel of teams from the Bahamas to compete in any international competition until further notice.
Immediately affected were the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations' team for the CARIFTA Games in Hamilton, Bermuda, and the Bahamas Swimming Federation's team for the CARIFTA Swim Championships in Barbados, both during the Easter holiday weekend.
While the BSF had already selected a 36-member swim team and 11-member open water team with the water polo team yet to be named, the BAAA was scheduled to stage their final trials for CARIFTA this weekend. But that has since been called off.
This weekend, the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association completed its final trials for both the Fed and Davis Cup teams.
Larikah Russell and Grand Bahamian Simone Pratt earned the final two spots for the ladies' Fed Cup to join Kerrie Cartwright and Sydney Clarke as they prepare to travel to Panama for the American Zone II play in April.
Meanwhile, veteran Marvin Rolle secured his 216th appearance on the Davis Cup team that will include Justin Roberts, Kevin Major Jr and Baker Newman. The venue and date for their American Zone III competition has not yet been released.
And the Bahamas Bowling Federation, following their National Bowling Championships at Mario's Bowling and Entertainment Centre recently, last week selected its national teams that will travel to various tournaments this year. But president Tyrone Knowles Sr said they are monitoring the coronavirus with their international partners to determine if they will travel.
No word has been released as yet from the BOC or the International Olympic Committee on the status of the Olympic Games, scheduled for July 24 to August 9 in Tokyo, Japan. From all indications, the Tokyo organising committee has indicated that they are planning for the hosting of the games as scheduled.