Grand Bahamians were prominent during the recent International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relays in New Providence.
It was historic, as Grand Bahamians were pushed to the forefront of the female sprint relay team, to go along with Michael Mathieu and Demetrius Pinder of the men’s 1600 meters force.
The women’s 4x100m quartet featured three Grand Bahamian sprinters who were instrumental in The Bahamas qualifying in the event for the IAAF World Championships in August.
Significantly a party of the youth movement of Grand Bahama, Devine Parker, Brianne Bethel and Tynia Gaither, along with Tayla Carter provided The Bahamas with its season best time of 44.01 in the women’s 4x100 meters on day two of the competition (April 23).
Parker had recently competed in the 2017 Flow CARIFTA Games in Wilemstad, Curacao the weekend prior (April 15-17). The young dynamo came away with a silver medal in the Under-18 girl’s 200 meters with a time of 23.87 seconds. She came close to her season best time of 23.80 seconds, which she registered back at the CARIFTA trials on April 1. She also helped team Bahamas land a silver medal in the Under 18 girls’ 4x100m.
Parker also boasts a season best time of 11.51 seconds in the 100 meters, which she turned in at the National High School Track and Field Championships in March.
Bethel may have missed the CARIFTA trip this year but proved she could perform on the IAAF stage, despite a rocky time of it at the 2015 edition of the
World Relays. The current Houston (University) Cougar was a multi-medal winner during her CARIFTA stints in 2013-2016 and won numerous medals at the High School Championships here in The Bahamas.
So far in 2017 Bethel has registered season- best times in her specialties (100m and 200m). Competing in the 100m at the Houston Alumni Invitational April 8, she clocked a wind-aided time of 11.55 seconds. At an event on April 14, Bethel logged a wind-aided time of 23.73 seconds in the 200 meters.
Gaither, the recent University of Southern California (USC) graduate, has moved into the professional rank. She competed on the Olympic stage in 2016 at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, in the women’s 200 meters. She finished in the top 25 with a time of 23.45 seconds.
Her professional career has gotten off to a rather solid start. She competed in the women’s 200 meters at the Grenada Invitational April 8 and walked away with a silver medal in the time of 22.71 seconds. The former Trojan finished behind Felicia Brown of the United States and ahead of Jura Levy and Veronica Campbell Brown of Jamaica.
With the World Championships a few months away, the 4 x 100 national team with its great Grand Bahama flavor, has some time to get stronger and better prepared for world peers.