Gaither captures bronze, team’s first medal in Lima

WRAPPED IN THE FLAG — Tynia Gaither is pictured wrapped in the national flag, after winning Team Bahamas’ first medal fo the Pan Am Games. (PHOTO: FRED STURRUP)

The Grand Bahamian Tynia Gaither produced it.

Finally, on Friday (August 9), The Bahamas earned a podium spot. It was an agonizing wait for Team Bahamas.

Lost were earlier (Thursday) opportunities to win medals. Pedrya Seymour placed fifth and missed the podium for the 100 meters hurdles. Then, defending champion Jeffery Gibson hit the finish line in fourth, just outside of the medal group.

Gaither was not going to be denied. She clocked 22.76 to finish behind Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryor (22.43) and Rosa Christina (22.62) of Brazil in the women’s 200m finals.

In fourth was Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel (22.89), fifth was the rejuvenated teammate of Gaither, Anthonique Strachan (22.97).

“I got out real well, executed the curves in good fashion, and I just thought, coming down the home stretch ‘stay tough and push through.’ I did that,” said a joyful Gaither.

This is her highest level of medal success and it came when her country badly needed to secure that special kind of hardware.

“This is real fantastic. To get our country the first medal is special. I wanted badly to get a medal and it happened,” said a smiling Gaither who said better performances are to come.

“Like I told you yesterday, l’m about two years behind. I should have been at this level two years ago. There is much more to come.

“I really want to thank all who participated in my success. And, to the Bahamian people, I am very happy to give you a medal,” said Gaither.

Strachan is back on pace to meet the expectations the track and field world had of her.

She is cemented as one of the great junior sprinters. Injuries derailed her advancement as a senior.

Strachan was satisfied on Friday.

“I did well. I thought I could have started better, but I am coming,” she said.

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