Jamaica has won the past 34 editions of the Caribbean Free Trade Agreement (CARIFTA) Track and Field championships, mainly because of the team’s ability to dominate the sprint races.
However, in an effort to combat the monotony of one team always winning, Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) Vice President Tonique Williams said, other countries need to look at throws, jumps and distance races to level the playing field at the regional meet.
“What I dream about now is seeing our program move to the next level, where we are not just competing in sprints, but we are able to compete in some of the field and distance events,”
Williams said in an interview with NationSport.
“That’s what really separates us from Jamaica in this region and other regions and athletic programs around the world. It is one of those things that I am working hard now to do so that our program continues to shine.”
Williams, who was the 2004 Athens Olympics women’s 400 metres (m) champion said, although it may seem like a daunting task, dethroning Jamaica is not impossible.
The Bahamas won the CARIFTA Games championships in four consecutive games: 1980, 1981, 1983 and 1984.
“We have won four times so it is not something that hasn’t been done before. We in The Bahamas are always making sure we can keep Jamaica close or if we can beat them.
“I think in the sprint events, we are there. We can challenge them. I think it is the other part of our program we need to work on.
“The goal is always to perform well in events that you are traditionally good at but also to expand to those events where you may not be good at because, we have to cater to all of our athletes, whether, it is running, jumping or throwing, as we’ve seen some of our Caribbean neighbours do well in events that they traditionally haven’t done.”
The Bahamas finished second behind Jamaica at this year’s event with 35 medals – six gold, 14 silver and 15 bronze.