Taylor named senior male athlete of 2023

THE TRIBUNE SPORTS’ ATHLETE OF THE YEAR 2023: Top swimmer Lamar Taylor proudly displaying the three NCAA championship titles he won last year while competing on the Henderson State University swim team.

THE TRIBUNE SPORTS’ ATHLETE OF THE YEAR 2023: Top swimmer Lamar Taylor proudly displaying the three NCAA championship titles he won last year while competing on the Henderson State University swim team.


Senior Sports Reporter


It was the Grand Bahamian trio of Lamar Taylor, Donald Thomas and Terrence Jones who turned in some of the most outstanding performances to highlight the 2023 sporting scene for Bahamian men.

Taylor’s feats in capping the year with the Bahamas’ first medal - a bronze in the men’s 50 metres freestyle in a new record of 22.13 seconds - at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile in October, enabled him to cart off The Tribune’s Male Athlete of the Year honours.

The 20-year-old smashed his previous personal best and national record of 22.26 seconds achieved at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan in July.

At Pan Am, Taylor was also 13th in the 100m backstroke and 16th in the 100m freestyle. He also swam on two men’s relay teams that got ninth in the 100m freestyle and 10th in the 100m medley. Both mixed 4 x 100 freestyle and medley relays, that he was also a part of, got 11th.

In what was a busty international year, Taylor also competed at the Central American and Caribbean Games last week in San Salvador, El Salvador, and lowered the Bahamas Aquatics’ record with his gold medal performance in the men’s 50m backstroke and he earned a bronze in the 50m freestyle.

Before all of that, Taylor competed for Henderson State at the NCAA Division II Swim Championships in 50-yard freestyle with a personal-best time of 19.04, becoming the Red Wave’s first individual national champion since 2010.

He also won the national championship in the 100 backstroke (45.95) and 100 free (42.30), became the first three-time national champion at a single national championships event in HSU history and was also named the CSCAA Division II Male Swimmer of the Year, was awarded the NSISC Male Swimmer of the Year and was named the 2022-23 GAC Male Athlete of the Year.

On his return home for the Bahamas Aquatics’ National Swimming Championships, Taylor established a pair of Bahamian national records at the Bahamas National Swimming Championships in June at the Betty Kelly Kenning Swim Complex in the 100-metre backstroke (56.47) and the 50-metre freestyle (22.35).



Thomas, showing that age is only a number, also had a rather remarkable season to earn the number two spot on The Tribune’s list. At the Pan American Games, the 39-year-old Thomas was beaten out for the silver by Luis Joel Castro of Puerto Rico on fewer knockdowns after they both posted a mark of 7-feet, 4 1/4-inches or 2.24 metres. Luis Enrique Zayas of Cuba took the gold with 7-5 ¼ (2.27m).

After winning a silver in 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, gold in 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico, and bronze in 2015 in Toronto, Canada, Thomas said he was disappointed as he sat on the sidelines and watched as a medal slipped away from him in 2019 in Lima, Peru. He dedicated his performance to the late Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini Obediah Wilchcombe.

Before going to Santiago, Chile, Thomas came home and won his third straight and seventh overall title at the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations’ National Championships at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in July.

He also clinched the gold at the North American, Central American and Caribbean’s New Life Invitational’s World Athletics Continental Tour Silver Level meeting as he returned home and delighted the crown at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex in Grand Bahama.



Jones, on the other hand, got off to an exceptional season indoors and was on the verge of a major breakthrough on the senior international circuit when his season was almost derailed by the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations to secure The Tribune’s No.3 spot.

The 21-year-old rising star opened up the year winning the NCAA Indoor 60m title in 6.46 seconds in March in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He had a relatively quiet outdoor season at Texas Tech, but resurfaced for a semifinal appearance in the 100m at 10.06 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas, in June.

After coming home to win the BAAA National Championships’ crown in the 100m in July at the TAR Stadium, Jones went to the NACAC Championships later that month in San Juan, Costa Rica where he anchored the men’s 4 x 100m relay team of Antoine Andrews, Adam Musgrove and Carlos Brown to the silver medal in 39.59.

He was to have been suspended for disciplinary actions at the Championships with a leaked report that he will not compete at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August. The decision was overturned at the 11th hour and Jones eventually made the trip, finishing sixth in his semifinal heat in 10.32.

To add to his credit, Jones equalled the time of 9.91 that Derrick Atkins achieved at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan, with his victory at the Tom Jones Memorial Classic in Gainesville, Florida in April to add to the men’s 60m mark of 6.45 that he posted at the Corky Classic in Lubbock, Texas in January, 2022.

Among the performances of note were Miami Marlins’ outfielder Jasrado ‘Jazz’ Chisholm, professional boxer Rashield Williams, who went undefeated in four fights last year, along with National Basketball Association’s trio of Chavano ‘Buddy’ Hield, Deandre Ayton and new addition Eric Gordon, who helped to propel the Bahamas into the qualifying round of the men’s basketball competition for the Olympic Games and golfers Devaughn Robinson and Richard Gibson Jr, who dominated the pro and amateur ranks respectively.


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