Categorized | National News

Two Thumbs Up For Historical IAAF World Event

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson has hailed the historic IAAF World Relays held in the capital over the weekend “a huge success.”

On Saturday and Sunday The Bahamas hosted the world at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium as nearly 1,000 athletes from around the world ran for their lives in front of a sold out crowd.

“We told everyone that this was the newest and fastest track on the planet and it proved to be just that,” Minister Johnson said. “Three world records in one weekend in one beautiful place, The Bahamas, seen on 150 news agencies and channels worldwide, on every continent. This is the first time that The Bahamas has been really on the world stage, and we performed fabulously well.”

The world relays was historic not just because of the fact that it was the first world class event to be held in the country but also because three world records were broken in the process.

The atmosphere in the stadium was electric and invigorating, with the home town crowd passionately supporting any effort the Bahamian athletes, transforming the event into an experience like no other and blowing the minds of the other countries and federations present.

According to Minister Johnson, these factors along with the success of the relays have opened up new windows of opportunity for The Bahamas.

“We had 42 federations represented, and they felt the logistics were impressive,” he added. “We met and surpassed their expectations. Most people asked when the next event is, but many of them said that they’re not going to wait until next year and that they’re going to be coming back within three to six months. Some will be coming for business opportunities and some for huge marketing ideas we have, so everyone was excited.

“The opportunities for investment, capital for growth, integrative services, new opportunities in banking, finance, agriculture, fisheries, everything that people are looking at to develop in their countries; people are asking about The Bahamas so this has opened up the brand ‘The Bahamas’ to a lot of inquiry.”

On Sunday night all eyes were on The Bahamas’ 4×4 relay team – the team that won gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics would meet their rivals on the track, The United States.

The quartet dazzled as they gave it their best shot in front of the home town crowd, ultimately falling short to the United States who beat them by mere milliseconds to capture the silver medal.

The Bahamas may not have pulled off as many victories as it wanted to, but the local athletes did not disappoint, something that Minister Johnson said Bahamians should still be proud of.

“If the Bahamian team had won that gold medal, I think we would’ve had to close Nassau (on Monday),” he added. “You would’ve had to have a public holiday, and I don’t know how we were going to get out of that stadium that night. That’s what the support was like. Everyone who was in the stadium had a fabulous time, and everyone at home watching had a fabulous time. So it’s just a first class event deserving of a first class country and right now we have a lot to feel good about. We went on the world stage and we did it.”

Due to the overwhelming success The Bahamas experienced this weekend, Minister Johnson promised that he and his team will see to it that events of this magnitude become a commonality in the Bahamas.

“I will be in negotiations next week with the IAAF to see what else we can do,” the minister promised. “This was the beginning and I think we performed well enough to go back to the table.

“We know that there are other events that they are planning, so the question that I am putting to them is can we make The Bahamas a stop on the IAAF world tour. So every year we’d want to get an event in The Bahamas and end up hopefully with about ten major events in this country that are on the tour of something going forward.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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