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A “Sweet, Sweet Feeling” in the Bahamian Track and Field community
By Alpheus Finlayson, BAAA
Jun 25, 2012 - 12:45:42 PM

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Andre Colebrooke on way to Bronze in 2012 Carifta Photo: Kermit Taylor / Bahamas Athletics

Since the start of Bahamian competition in the Olympic Games and World Championships, no Bahamian has participated in the 800m or anything longer. Mind you, Julian Brown from Bimini was enlisted to participate in the 800m in the Rome Games. However he fell sick and was unable to participate.

He was still a student of St. John’s College at the time.

Two years later at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Kingston, Brown ran 1:52.5, a Bahamian National record that would last some eighteen years. This was in the semi-final and in the final Brown was spiked and he never was the same again.

Five years ago Kenneth Wallace-Whitfield participated in the World Youth Championships 800m in Ostrava, Czech Republic, becoming the very first World Youth, World Junior, World Championships, or World Indoor Championships. Wallace-Whitfield made history when on July 11th, 2007 he ran 1:57.02 for sixth place in the second heat of the 800m in the World Youth Championships,

BTC Scotiabank Olympic Trials

At the BTC Scotiabank Olympic Trials last weekend two junior 800m runners excelled.

Andre Colebrooke, from Eleuthera established a new National Junior record in the 800m. The old record was held by quarter miler Ramon Miller who clocked 1:52.27 on July 29th, 2005 in Windsor, Canada. Colebrooke ran 1:52.20, breaking the old record by seven hundredths of a second.

He has improved significantly since he won a Bronze medal at this year’s Carifta Games.

Coached by Stephen Murray, he is scheduled to compete in the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships this weekend in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Then newcomer Teshon Adderley ran 2:06.96 all by herself to book a ticket to the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona this July.

The qualifying mark is 2:.09.10.

She is also scheduled to participate at the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships this coming weekend.

Adderley will be the first Bahamian man or woman to participate in the World Junior Championships.

This is certainly historic for The Bahamas!

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Teshon Adderley Photo: Laura Pratt Charlton

She has an excellent chance of beating Vernetta Rolle’s records.

The next step would be the World Championships.

Based upon the performances of both Adderley and Colebrooke over the weekend there is a “Sweet, Sweet Feeling” in the Bahamian Track and Field community!

Adderley won the Silver medal in this event in this year’s Carifta Games. Only one Bahamian has run faster. That is Vernetta Rolle, who holds both National Junior and Senior records in this event. Her Junior record was set at 2:06.27 on March 18th, 1995 in Baton Rouge, and the Senior record on May 23rd 1998 in Atlanta.

Whelma Colebrooke had a best of 2:09.20 which she did in July of 1981 to capture the Bronze medal at the Senior Central American and Caribbean Championships in Santo Domingo. Colebrooke was still a junior at that time.

Adderley is a 2010 graduate of C.V. Bethel Secondary School. She attended Iowa Central Community College from which she graduated in May.

She previously ran the 200m and 400m but it was felt that she did not have the leg speed. She moved up to the 800m and has found her niche. She is a member of the T’ Bird Flyers and is coached by Michael Armbrister.

There has been continual discussion of the state of distance running in The Bahamas. People wonder when a Bahamian will compete in the Olympics in the marathon or some other distance event. The 800m is a middle distance event which actually includes some sprinting ability.

Athletes who are not successful in the longer sprints should move up to the 800m.

There is an easier chance of Bahamians competing in this event in the World Championships or Olympics but few move up to this event because of the perceived “glamour” in the sprints.

It is understood why most athletes gravitate towards the sprints but a good coach should analyze the athlete’s talents and steer them in the right direction.

There certainly is a “Sweet, Sweet Feeling in the Bahamian Track and Field Community”!


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