16-year-old Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas wins the women's 400m title (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Bahamas hoping for best-ever showing in Lille - IAAF World Youth Championships

With a squad of 15, The Bahamas is targeting its best-ever showing at the IAAF World Youth Championships, which get underway on Wednesday 6 July in Lille, France.

In the six previous editions of this event The Bahamas has won only one medal, a Bronze in the 200m by Grand Bahama’s Nivea Smith in Ostrava, Czech Republic in 2007.

The Bahamas is competing in only one field event, the Boys Triple Jump, where twins Latario Collie-Minns and Lathone Collie- Minns rank first and third on the IAAF 2011 performance list. Latario has jumped 16.55m at the Scotiabank National High School Track and Field Championships. Lathone jumped 15.73m in that same meet. Cuban Yodenys Rivera is just one centimeter ahead of Lathone at 15.74m.

World 400m Junior champion Shaunae Miller clocked 51.85sec at the BTC Jr. & Sr. National Track and Field Championships last week in Freeport for a new Bahamas National Jr. Record. This ranks second on the IAAF list to Jamaica’s Chris Ann-Gordon, who clocked 51.62. She is also ranked fourth in the 200m worldwide with a 23.70 clocking done at the Scotiabank National High School Track and Field Championships. Miller will concentrate on the 400m.

Andre Wells of Grand Bahama is expected to do well in the 400m. He upset Carifta champion O’Jay Ferguson at the BTC Jr. & Sr. Track and Field Championships with a 46.87 clocking. His 46.63 at the BAAA World Youth Trials ranks him seventh in the world.

The other athletes are:

- Anthony Adderley, 200m. This is Adderley’s second team ever. He participated in the 4x100m Relay in last year’s Jr. CAC Championships in Santo Domingo. He has gone all the way to the top with his selection for an individual event to the World Youth. Adderley has a 21.71 personal best.

- Devynne Charlton, 100m. Charlton is the gold medalist in the 100m for the Under-17 Division of the Carifta Games. She qualified with 11.91 at Carifta. Charlton also qualified in the 100m Hurdles but decided to concentrate on the 100m at the World Youth. She is a multi-Carifta medalist.

- Carmiesha Cox, 200m. Cox won the 200m for Girls Under-17 at this year’s Carifta Games with a time of 23.96

- Delano Davis, 100m. Davis won the 100m for the Under-17 Division at Carifta in April. His time was 10.75.

- Gregria Higgs, 100m. Higgs ran 12.18 to qualify for this year’s team.

- Kirk Lewis, 110m Hurdles. Lewis has a 14.25 qualifying time in the 110m hurdles, in his first ever world event.

- Stephen Newbold, 200m. Newbold ran at the World Junior as well as the Youth Olympics last year. This year he has a best of 21.23. He ran 47.32 in securing a bronze medal at the Carifta Games in Montego Bay but has decided that his chance of winning a medal is greater in the 200m than the 400m. Last year he set a record in the Under-17 400m Hurdles in Carifta.

- Tommy Outten, 100m. Outten ran 10.85 to qualify. He ran 10.90sec at this year’s Carifta Games.

- Ashley Riley, 800m. Riley ran a surprising 1:53.57 at Carifta for the silver medal.

- Pedrya Seymour, Medley Relay. Seymour was the silver medalist at Carifta in the Under-17 300m Hurdles. In Lille she will run the 300m leg of the medley relay, which is 100m, 200m, 300m, and 400m. The names of the other medley relay team members aren't available at this time.

In the Bahamas’ last outing at these Championships two years ago, the girl's Medley relay team of V’alonee Robinson, Katarina Smith, Rashan Brown, and Katrina Seymour finished fourth with a 2:09.33 clocking, just .08 off the bronze medal performance by Romania. Jamaica was fifth in this event.

At last year’s Inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore, Tynia Gaither won the silver medal in the 200m. She along with Rashan Brown participated in the Gold medal medley relay team. Brown finished fourth in the 400m.

Alpheus Finlayson (BAAA) for the IAAF