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SPORTS YEAR IN REVIEW: PART 1

• THE first part of Tribune Sports’ year in review series will explore the greatest Team Performances of 2012

By RENALDO DORSETT

Sports Reporter

rdorsett@tribunemedia.net

LONDON SUMMER

OLYMPICS TEAM

IN THE 2012 Olympics, the team’s performance left the Bahamas tied with Algeria, Grenada and Venezuela for 50th place out of a field of some 202 countries that had taken part in the biggest sporting event on the planet.

Veteran Chandra Sturrup carried the flag for the country in the closing ceremony.

The final numbers in the London 2012 Olympics were 104 medals for the United States (46 of them gold), China won 87 medals (38 of them gold), Britain won 29 golds, third-most of any nation, and 65 overall — fourth in that category behind Russia, a winner of 82 medals, 24 gold.

With their gold medal performance, Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu and Ramon Miller ensured that the 26-member team, including lone swimmer Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, tied with Algeria, Grenada, Uganda and Venezuela for the 50th spot.

The 22-year-old swimmer wrapped up her historic Olympic appearance with an eighth-place finish in the women’s 50m freestyle final, clocking a 24.69 in the final women’s individual race of the Games. It was .05 shy of her time in the semifinals, but history was made as she was the first-ever Bahamian swimmer to advance to an Olympic final.

She reached the final as she qualified sixth overall in the women’s 50m freestyle semis. Her time of 24.64 set a new personal best and also goes down as a new Bahamian record. In the morning preliminary heats, she clocked a 24.85 to tie for seventh overall and earn a spot in the semifinals.

GOLDEN KNIGHTS

THE Bahamas men’s 4 x 400 metre relay team members proudly collected their gold medals after upsetting the United States in one of the biggest showdowns in track and field over the years.

Champions of the 2012 Olympic Games, Chris ‘Fireman’ Brown, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu and Ramon ‘Fearless’ Miller combined to secure the only medal for the Bahamas and got the national flag to be raised while the national anthem was played during the medal presentation with the US and bronze medallist Trinidad & Tobago standing at attention and applauding them for their efforts.

It marked the first Olympic gold medal in a men’s team event in any sport for The Bahamas and the first American loss in that race at the Olympics since 1972.

Sir Durward Knowles and Cecil Cooke won a gold medal in 1964 for sailing, which is not categorised as a men’s team event.

The Bahamas’ relay team won in 2:56.72s, a national record time.

MEN’S NATIONAL

VOLLEYBALL TEAM

THE TEAM delivered a pair of historic gold medal performances. They first won the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Championship that was held in US Virgin Islands, St Croix, and followed with gold at the Group A of the NORCECA 2014 FIVB Men’s World Championship qualifier in Willemstad, Curacao.

They are on the verge of representing the Bahamas in the FIVB Men’s World Championships.

Based on their performances so far, this is definitely one of the best teams that the federation has ever assembled.

In fact, two members of the team, Prince Wilson and Byron Ferguson, have secured professional contracts to play overseas, something that has never been heard of in the past.

Wilson, by the way, was named as the most valuable player (MVP) of the latter tournament while Ferguson carted off the best blocker award. The dynamic duo was joined by Renaldo Knowles, who picked up the best spiker award. Additionally, all three were named to the All-Tournament team.

CARIFTA TRACK

AND FIELD

IMPROVING on last year’s performance of 31 medals, Team Bahamas returned home from Bermuda with 40 medals for second place and the bid to host the 42nd Carifta Games in 2013.

Jamaica, which hosted the top regional junior meet last year, finished with 78 medals, including 34 gold.

The Bahamas ended up with 40 medals - 14 gold, 14 silver and 12 bronze.

The three-day meet at the National Sports Centre in Devonshire, Bermuda, closed out with the Bahamas under-20 boys 4 x 400 metre relay team of Blake Bartlett, O’Jay Ferguson, Elroy McBride and Julian Munroe clinching the final gold in a time of 3:09.23s.

Anthonique Strachan captured her second consecutive Austin Sealy award as the most outstanding athlete of the games for her repeat sprint double championship performance.

It was the Bahamas’ best finish since it won the 1984 edition of the meet (hosted in New Providence) with a total of 57 medals which included 19 gold, 22 silver and 16 bronze. At that meet, Pauline Davis-Thompson captured the Austin Sealy award for the same 100m/200m sprint double as Strachan for the record in 2011 and 2012.

HUGH CAMPBELL

CHAMPIONS

THE CC SWEETING COBRAS captured the most high profile student athlete event in the country with a 58-46 win over the visiting Eight Mile Rock Bluejays. Angelo Lockhart struggled with foul trouble for most of the night but he was back on the floor in the fourth quarter and the Cobras’ senior point guard sparked a late run to put the game away and seal the 30th Hugh Campbell Basketball Classic championship title. With the Cobras nursing a 51-46 lead late in the fourth, Lockhart scored on his first possession back on the floor, followed by an assist to Jeffrey Williams, and capped a 6-0 run with another basket of his own to give the Cobras a 57-46 lead with just over a minute left to play. Lockhart was named the game’s MVP as he finished with 10 points, five assists and four steals. Roosevelt Whylly led the Cobras with 17 points and 13 rebounds, Alvano Miller added 10 points, while Rashad Davis chipped in with 14 points off the bench. It was the Cobras first title since 2007. Their last appearance in the Hugh Campbell final came two years ago when they lost 81-80 to the Tabernacle Baptist Falcons in a game Angelo Lockhart missed due to injury.

SAC BAISS TRACK

AND FIELD

It was an exciting finish to the conclusion of the 2012 BAISS Track and Field Championships. After the final results were released, SAC was declared the winner with 1,307.50 points while the QC Comets fell short of their first championship by just 48 points, posting an overall total of 1,259.50 points.

These championships were by far the most competitive ever showing the depth of the QC Comets athletic programme that matches SAC in practically all categories unlike previous years. Out of the 10 divisions, QC Comets won 5 to SAC’s 3.

Aquinas Aces and St John’s College Giants each won one division. The Comets also dominated the relays, winning eight (8) while SAC was close behind winning six (6). QC set five (5) new relay records followed by SAC with four (4). A number of individual records were broken and several athletes qualified for the Carifta Games.

CARIFTA SWIMMING

A SILVER-MEDAL performance by the boys 15-17 200 metre relay team of Evante Gibson, Dustin Tynes, Keith Lloyd and T’Auren Moss brought the curtains down on the BTC 2012 Carifta Swimming Championships.

It also propelled the Bahamas into second place overall in the points standings.

By virtue of winning the medal, Team Bahamas took advantage of their home field at the Betty Kelly Kenning National Swim Complex, posting 657 points to edge out Trinidad & Tobago (648) by just nine.

Guadeloupe dominated the four-day championships, winning over the field of 22 countries with a total of 821.50.

While Team Bahamas improved on its third-place finish last year in Bridgetown, Barbados, it also surpassed the 41-medal haul (including 12 gold) by amassing 49 - 13 gold, 20 silver and 16 bronze. In the gold medal rush, the Bahamas ended up tied for third with Aruba which also won 14 silver and 11 bronze for their 38 total.

However, Trinidad & Tobago led the medal table with 26 gold. They also collected 17 silver and 11 bronze for a total of 54. Guadeloupe got the most medals with 63 but they fell short by one gold with 25. They added 19 silver and 19 bronze.

Leading the way for the Bahamas was 12-year-old Albury Higgs, who dominated the girls 11-12 division with 65 points.

GIRLS JR NATIONAL

SOCCER TEAM

AFTER an historic performance at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in Kingston, Jamaica, the Bahamas Football Association (BFA) U-17 team placed third and qualified for the CONCACAF final.

The team defeated Guyana 1-0 and joined Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica in the final which was held in May in Guatemala.

During the qualifying tournament, the Bahamas lost its first two matches to host Jamaica 2-0 and 3-0 to Trinidad and Tobago at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex in Kingston. However, the Bahamas blanked Guyana 1-0 as 14-year-old attacker Keisha McCartney scored in the 43rd minute to turn things around. They played against host country Mexico, USA, Canada and the Central American playoff winner between Costa Rica in the final.

Overmatched against a pair of global soccer powerhouses, the Bahamas was eliminated from the CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship.

Team Bahamas fell 6-0 to Mexico and in their second game of the tournament, a 10-0 loss to the United States.

BOYS

CENTROBASKET U-15

THE BAHAMAS qualified for the Tournament of the Americas after their performance in the Centrobasket U-15 Championships for Men in July.

The Bahamas won a bronze medal with a 63-47 win over Guatemala in the third place game, led by Sebastian Gray’s 25 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks.

Gray led the team in scoring and rebounding at 11.4 and 8.8 points and rebounds per game respectively. He also was the team’s leading shot blocker at 1.4 blocks per game and leading free throw shooter at 80 per cent.

Shemar Burrows was second on the team in scoring with 11.2 points per game, rebounding at 8.6 per game and assists at 2.6 per game. He led the team shooting 51 per cent from the field and was tops in steals at 2.6 per game.

Daejour Adderley was the third leading scorer on the team and the only other player to average doubles figures at 10.8 points per game.

The Bahamas opened up competition with a 73-63 win over El Salvador, and followed with a tough 74-66 loss to Mexico.

They defeated the Cayman Islands 105-35 to advance to the semifinals where they lost to eventual champions Puerto Rico, 78-55.

The CentroBasket is an International Basketball Federation (FIBA)-sponsored basketball tournament featuring Central. American and Caribbean countries in the Central American and Caribbean Confederation. The top four teams in the Centrobasket earn berths to the FIBA America Championships.

IM BEARS

A LANDMARK year for the Insurance Management Bears concluded in dramatic fashion with a postseason tournament victory to cement their status as the top team in the Bahamas. The Bears’ dominant season in the Bahamas Football Associations men’s senior football league ended Sunday with a 7-2 victory over the Baha Juniors in the final of the Knockout Cup at the Roscoe Davies soccer field. With the win, the Bears captured both the league title and cup double, having previously clinched the league championship by a seven point margin over runners up Cavalier FC.

COMMONWEALTH

BANK GIANTS

AFTER three-peating as the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) champions, the Giants went to Bimini and duplicated the feat in the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s BTC Buddy Levarity National Championship series. Despite a limited amount of teams entered, coach Perry Thompson said they had a rough time at the Gateway Academy Auditorium before they prevailed with a 103-83 victory over the Bimini Sands Braves.

V8-FUSION

STINGRAYS

IT WAS the end of a virtually spotless era for the Orry J Sands Pros and gave the youngest franchise in the Commonwealth American Football League (CAFL) their first Boil Fish Bowl title in team history. The V8 Fusion Stingrays took the league championship with a 24-14 win over the Pros to complete a perfect 8-0 season. Leading rusher Jamaal Storr was named the game’s MVP.

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