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Houston, Smith heading to Games

Sprinter Tre Houston and heptathlete Shianne Smith will be the only track and field athletes representing Bermuda at next month’s Pan Am Games in Mexico.

Long jumpers Tyrone Smith, Arantxa King and Jasmine Brunson have decided to rest and recuperate ahead of next year’s Olympic Games rather than compete in Guadalajara.

Middle distance runner Aaron Evans has also withdrawn because of a hamstring injury. And Bermudas Track and Field Association president Donna Watson admitted the timing of the Games had been less than ideal for her athletes who had only just finished long seasons.

“We will be sending only two athletes: Tre Houston and Shianne Smith,” said Watson. “We had six athletes who reached the standard but will not be travelling to the Games.

“Of course, Aaron is still recovering from injury and wants to be fully healed so he can be healthy in his attempt to qualify for the Olympics.

Watson said many athletes from other countries had also chosen to skip the Games to concentrate on qualifying for next year’s London Olympics.

“Due to the lateness of the Pan-Am Games, some athletes and their coaches have decided that with the Olympics taking place early next year they need to begin preparations and wind down from this season,” she said. “Most of the elite athletes in other countries will probably not be attending the Games either because of the same reason.

“It’s unfortunate the Games are being held so late as during that time most track athletes are doing their base training for the upcoming season. With World Championships being so late this year it has been a long track season.”

The Bermuda Olympic Association are expected to officially announce a squad of around 25 athletes for the Games next week. Thousands of athletes from 42 countries, including 275 from the United States, will compete in 36 sports during the Games, the world’s second-largest sporting event after the Olympics.

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Published September 17, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated September 17, 2011 at 8:31 am)

Houston, Smith heading to Games

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