Misfortune befalls Team Bahamas at World Relays

Grand Bahamian Alonzo Russell was a member of the men’s 4×400 meters relay team set to compete at the 2019 IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan. The team never made it on to the track after Stephen Gardiner (injury) could not be replaced in time.

With just two teams representing The Bahamas at the 2019 International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Relays both senior national quartets came up empty on their recent trip.

Staged for the first time in Yokohama, Japan this past May 11-12 the fast growing IAAF relay event will be remembered as one of the most disappointing outings for the country thus far. 

It all started on day one of the event this past Saturday night at the Yokohama International Stadium when the men’s 4x400 meters team was unable to set foot on the track in the preliminaries. It was reported that Stephen “Stevie” Gardiner was unable to compete hours before the race due to an achilles tendon strain. 

He was set to team up with Grand Bahamian Alonzo Russell, Ojay Ferguson and Andre Colebrook. Stephen “Dirty” Newbold was listed on the men’s 4x400m roster as a substitute and was readily available in the event one of the aforementioned athletes was unable to compete.

The coaching staff made an attempt to replace Gardiner with Newbold. Although the team declaration had already been turned in, teams are given a specific amount of time to make changes to their roster. Ultimately the 6:00 p.m. deadline to make changes had passed, which resulted in The Bahamas being tagged with Did Not Start (DNS).

Trinidad and Tobago would become the eventual champions of that race having clocked a World Leading time of 3:00.81. Jamaica trailed in second place to secure the silver medal with a season’s best time of 3:01.57. Rounding out the top three was Belgium who also clocked a season’s best time of 3:02.70. 

It was time to move on to the men’s 4x200m race which took place this past Sunday evening. Things were going well as Team Bahamas secured their place in the final with a second place finish in heat one of the preliminaries. The quartet of Clif Resias, Newbold, Anthony Adderley and Grand Bahamian Shavez Hart, in that order, did so in the season best time of 1:22.40. 

However in the final of the event The Bahamas’ momentum became undone. On the very first exchange of the race between Resias and Newbold the baton slipped from the hands of Newbold. He was able to pick up the baton and continue the race but the team was disqualified as a result. 

The United States eventually held off the South African foursome to take the gold in the time of 1:20.12. South Africa trailed closely behind the Americans and finished in second place with a time of 1:20.42. Germany rounded out the top three, and set a new national record for their country with a time of 1:21.26. 

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