Saturday, April 20, 2024

AAB angers Straughn


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Christ Church Foundation School long-time physical education teacher Seibert Straughn is not a happy man.

And the disappointment of the two-time Olympian has nothing to do with his three-peat girls’ team having to share the 2018 Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championship (BSSAC) title with the St Michael School or his boys running second to the same opponents.

Straughn is disappointed that the Athletic Association of Barbados (AAB) could find no room for two of his outstanding athletes, Hannah Connell and Josiah Atkins, on the CARIFTA Games’ 26-member team which leaves for the Bahamas tomorrow.

“I am very disappointed.  The association needs to make its selections policy clear.  If you are only selecting athletes who qualify by times that is understandable. But if you are selecting outside of the times, then how could you leave out two top performing individuals like Hannah and Josiah?” Straughn said.

While neither Connell nor Atkins reached the AAB’s qualifying standards, the former is the fastest schoolgirl in Barbados, winning the 100 metres at BSSAC in 11.95 seconds, narrowly missing the benchmark of 11.80 seconds.

She also won the 100-metre hurdles in 15.39 seconds, off her season’s best of 14.28 at the National Junior Championships. The qualifying mark in this event is 14.00 seconds.

Atkins achieved the Under-20 Boys’ sprint double at the BSSAC finals with times of 10.67 and 21.62 seconds in the 100 and 200 respectively when he beat CARIFTA selectee Matthew Clarke on each occasion. Unfortunately, he didn’t go under the CARIFTA qualifying standards of 10.55 or 21.40 seconds. 

Straughn, a former chairman of the National Sports Council, who had represented Barbados at the 1991 World Championship, praised the significant development of the relay teams in the island and expressed amazement that Barbados continually refuse to select stand-alone relay teams.

“If you look at our relay times and performances you would recognise that we have been making great strides in those events. Our 4×400 and 4×100 have brought some of the greatest pride to Barbados’ athletics,” noted the 1989 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games 400 metres bronze medallist.

Leaving out competitors like Hannah and Josiah, who can deliver in so many areas is demoralising for those athletes and others who look up to them,” contended Straughn. (KB)


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