Photo credit by Everette Sweeting
The excitement, the heat, the competition came back to The Bahamas for the 2nd Annual IAAF World Relays and questioned – can The Bahamas top last year? – YES, WE CAN!
A week of overcast weather that included rain, thunder and lightning, led to speculation that we would have a rainy and wet Championships. That all was put to rest by Friday, and we would not see anymore rain for the week. Saturday and Sunday provided burning temperatures in the afternoon followed by a cool Bahama Breeze at night. Perfect temperatures for two world records to be smashed and fireworks to greet every winner at the finish line.
1) Bingo the Potcake – Sure the grouper we had last year was nice but this year’s Mascot is one that every Bahamian can find relatable. The Potcake. What is a Potcake? A mix breed dog that you will see roaming the streets of The Bahamas. They are everywhere and well known to the public. I’ll let my colleague Syreta Roberts tell you more in her blog post about the invaluable potcake.
2) Fire and Fireworks – Dramatic and grandiose. If you win, you receive a fire and fireworks display greeting at the finish line. I overheard in the stands “do you think all that is necessary?” Judging by the roars of the crowd – Yes, it was!
3) Crème de la Crème of the Track Universe – Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay, Sanya Richards-Ross, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Allyson Felix, Debbie Ferguson, the Golden Girls handing off the baton to the Golden Knights. I know, enough name dropping, but the best certainly came to play (did you see Justin Gatlin’s display of speed for a third placement in the 4x200m? A DQ never looked so good). A positive note is that the countries sent more of their elite athletes, which can only be a testament of how successful the Inaugural world relays were.
4) Execution, Execution, Execution – The execution of the event itself appeared to be seamless. The performances were mixed, country teams showed how important the time and effort working on relay exchanges are to be ready for the bright lights, as there were heartbreaking moments for every exciting moment. It all culminated into an electrifying production.
5) The Thousands of Fans and Fanatics – In the stands, you could see a sea of diversity as the world came to cheer on their respective countries. Deneko Brown, First time Bahamas National Team Member said “Pure excitement, adrenaline and exhilaration. The crowd roars were so loud I knew I just had to GO! Just hearing the people cheer, I felt like a different person.” Indeed running splits in the 200m he had never eclipsed in his career was an achievement. The surprise of the night for him was receiving a louder ovation than Usain Bolt when the teams were announced.
The Bahamas showed once again; we are good at hosting International Events.