Bahamas receive Olympic bronze after 13 years

Nassau (Bahamas), August 1 (IANS/CMC): The Bahamas Olympic men's 4x400 metres relay team has been presented with bronze medals from the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The team of Chris Brown, Carl Oliver, Troy McIntosh, Avard Moncur and Tim Munnings received the bronze medals after the US team, the original bronze winner, was disqualified.

"It is for me to say to each of you, as you accept this award, that you really made it possible for younger ones to believe that they could do better and that they could compete at the level of the Olympics and the level of the world," Prime Minister Perry Christie said to the team receiving their bronze medals during a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton.

"It was a defining kind of performance - a defining moment in sports - and I thank you for it."

The decision to award the medals follows lengthy deliberations from the International Olympic Committee which ruled back in 2008 to strip the United States' team of its gold medal after it was revealed that one of its members had used a banned substance prior to the games.

However, it wasn't until last August that the IOC reallocated the medals.

The decision moved the Nigerian team to earning a gold medal with Jamaica and The Bahamas being awarded silver and bronze medals respectively.

"I want each of you to reflect on your contribution to athletics in The Bahamas and to see, as professionals, what you are doing now, and to hope that, in some way, you are able to give something back," said Prime Minister Christie.

Prime Minister Christie urged team members to travel through the Bahamas to encourage young children to pursue their dreams in athletics.

The Prime Minister announced that his Government would embark on the construction of sporting complexes throughout the islands.

"I am hoping that tomorrow my Government signs off on the first one in Abaco," said Prime Minister Christie.


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