Bahamian Osaka heroes’ homecoming
Monday 8 October 2007
The Bahamas in the Caribbean with a population of only 300,000 can be exceptionally proud of their athletics achievements but none more so than their team’s performance in Osaka at the 11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics. One gold and two silver medals was by far the best per capita performance of any IAAF Member Federation in Osaka.
Last Thursday (4 Oct), members of the Bahamian Osaka World Championships team returned to the Bahamas for national celebrations. In Osaka, the Bahamas had its finest hour with a gold medal by high jumper Donald Thomas, and two silvers, one by Derrick Atkins in the 100m, and the other by the 4x400m relay team of Avard Moncur, Michael Mathieu, Andrae Williams, and Chris Brown. For their effort the team finished ninth in the medal count, just behind Jamaica and ahead among others of Cuba and Great Britain.
On Friday (5) the team visited schools in New Providence where they received the applause from young students and aspiring athletes.
Then on Saturday (6) they signed autographs in a New Providence mall and were hosted by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham at the Atlantis Resort that evening.
While there the Prime Minister presented the medalists with their Performance Incentive Awards. This tradition started in 1995 after the Gothenburg World Championships.
The athletes then participated in a massive National Youth March on Sunday (7), which included a motorcade.
Then on Monday the athletes travel to Grand Bahama, the home of Donald Thomas, Andrae Williams, and Michael Mathieu and on Tuesday to Eleuthera, the home of Chris Brown, fourth place finisher in the 400m in Osaka.
Finally, on Wednesday (10) the team will visit Parliament where congratulations will be given by parliamentarians. That evening they will be hosted to another reception where the business community will provide gifts.
Alpheus Finlayson for the IAAF