By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
THE stage is set for Team Bahamas as competition gets underway today at the World Athletics’ 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, the first time the event is being staged in the United States of America for the first time since it officially got started in 1983 in Helsinki, Finland.
Donald Thomas, the 2007 world champion from Osaka, Japan and 2010 Commonwealth Games champion from Delhi, India, will be the first to compete for the Bahamas in the 19th edition of the championships in the preliminaries of the men’s high jump at 10:10 am.
The 39-year-old Thomas from Grand Bahama, who has produced a personal best of 7-feet, 9 ¼-inches or 2.37 metres and a season’s best of 7-4 1/2 (2.25m), will be the third of 14 competitors in group B. There are 15 competitors in group A.
When combined, the athletes attaining the automatic standard of 7-6 ½ (2.30m) or the 12 best performances will advance to the final that will be contested on Monday at 5:45pm.
Also, during the morning session at 11:45, the preliminaries of the mixed relays are scheduled to take place.
In the absence of injured Steven Gardiner, the Bahamas will select from the combination of Alonzo Russell, Bradley Dormeus, Wanya McCoy, Anthonique Strachan, Megan Moss, Doneisha Anderson, Javonya Valcourt and Janae Ambrose.
The Bahamas is slated to run out of heat six against seven other countries, including Jamaica in three and sandwiched between Brazil in five and South Africa in seven.
A full stack of countries is entered in heat one, led by the United States in four.
Without any day off, the first three in the two heats and the next two fastest times will advance to the final that will conclude tonight’s initial day of competition at 7:50pm.
During the evening session, LaQuan Nairn will be the seventh of 16 competitors on the runway in Group B.
Nairn enters the competition with a lifetime and season’s best of 26-11 ¾ (8.22m). There are 16 competitors as well in Group A. The automatic qualifying distance for the final on Saturday at 6:20pm is 26-9 (8.15m) or the 12 top performers overall.
The heats of the men’s 100m will also take place with Grand Bahamian native Terrence Jones and Exuma native Samson Colebrooke both competing.
Their lane assignments, however, will not be determined until the completion of the preliminary rounds during the morning session.
The semi-finals and finals of the men’s 100m will run on Saturday at 6 and 7:50 respectively.
Also taking place on Saturday, July 16 will be the heats of the women’s 100m featuring Anthonique Strachan and Tynia Gaither at 5:10 pm.
On Sunday, July 17, the semi-final will be contested at 5:33 pm, followed by the final at 7:50 pm.
The first weekend of action on Sunday, July 17 will also showcase Miller- Uibo in the heats of the women’s 400m.
The semi-final will be staged on Wednesday, July 20 at 6:45pm and the final is set for Friday at 7:15pm.
That would allow Miller-Uibo to once again compete in the 200m with Strachan and Gaither. The heats for the women’s 200m on Monday, July 18 at 6pm with the semi-final on Tuesday at 6:05 pm and the final on Thursday, July 21 at 7:45 pm.
The decathlon for men with Ken Mullings as the lone competitor will be staged on Saturday and Sunday, July 23-24.
National record holder Devynne Charlton will have to wait until Saturday, July 23 to begin competition in the heats of the women’s 100m hurdles.
The semifinal is on Sunday, July 24 at 5:05pm with the final at 7pm.
Team Bahamas’ final event will be the women’s 4x400m relay.
The team, comprising of a mixture from the pool of Miller-Uibo, Strachan, Moss, Anderson, Valcourt and Ambrose will have to advance out of the heats on Saturday, July 23 at 5:10pm in order to advance to the final on Sunday, July 24 at 7:30pm.
Following the championships, which wraps up on Sunday, July 24, some of the athletes will be heading to Birmingham, England to participate in the Commonwealth Games that will be staged from July 28 to August 8.
Go Team Bahamas!