Almost swept but The Bahamas vow to be stronger next year

By April 03, 2018
The Bahamas vows to be better for next year and close the gap on Jamaica at Carifta. The Bahamas vows to be better for next year and close the gap on Jamaica at Carifta.

Courtney Wallace, the manager of The Bahamas athletics team to the just-concluded 2018 Carifta Games said that while his country's athletes met expectations, keeping the core together for next year is essential if they are to close the gap between themselves and perennial powerhouse Jamaica.

The Bahamas finished second in the standings with 35 medals including six gold, 14 silver and 15 bronze medals, a total of 35 medals. The count was four more than the Bahamas won in Curacao in 2017. However, Jamaica came away from the championships with 82 medals – 44 gold, 27 silver and 11 bronze – in what was yet again another dominant showing.

“If we can keep our athletes together, get them prepared, work on them beginning now and up until next year’s Carifta Games, I am expecting us to do a whole lot better,” Wallace said. “The core of the athletes that we had this year were new athletes, so we are hoping that once we can keep them together I am really expecting them to do much better and to really close the gap between the Bahamas and Jamaica.”

Notwithstanding the gap in quality between the teams, Wallace said he was pleased with how well The Bahamas performed before their home crowd at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium in Nassau.

“I think more than anything we did what we expected and beyond. I think we did what we thought we would have done and some. I thought we did exceptionally well in some of the events that we thought we wouldn’t have won a medal in,” he said. “I am pretty much happy with the performance of the team.”

Among the events in which the home athletes surprised was the under17 girls’ javelin that was won by The Bahamas Rhema Otabor. There was also the u17 boys 1500m in which Mitchell Curtis won a silver medal, and then returned to win gold in the 3000m in stirring battle with Jamaica’s Giovouni Henry.

“We knew he stood a chance but we weren’t sure we were going to medal in that,” Wallace revealed. Wallace also mentioned the bronze medal won by Gabriel Curtis in the under20 boys 5000m as a pleasant surprise.

Prior to the start of the Games, head coach Bernard Rolle, speaking about the strength of his relay teams, declared that his team would not be overpowered by the traditional powerhouses Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

"Jamaica, nor the other countries, are going to come here and sweep us. We are trying to win every one of the relays," Rolle said.

As it turned out, had it not been for the disqualification of their under 20 girls’ 4x400m team, Jamaica would have won every single relay during the Games. That was perhaps, one area of disappointment for Wallace.

“We always expect to win. Every time we go into the competition we expect to win so them not winning was not a disappointment. Our expectation was to win, especially the under 17 girls, we thought that was one of the better events that we stood a chance, the u17 boys in the 4x100, we had a big incident with the incoming athlete,” Wallace said.

“We were expecting to win about three of those relays. It didn’t turn out that way."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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