Bahamas set to be officially awarded 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games

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Officially confirming the Bahamas as the host of the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games is expected to be the main item when the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Executive Board holds a two-day meeting starting here tomorrow.

The a coral-based archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean is the only candidate following the withdrawal of St Lucia last September because they did not believe they were ready to host the event.

This was largely due to doubts over venues and financial concerns, particularly over the lack of a stadium to host athletics.

CGF President Louise Martin travelled to Bahamas' capital Nassau earlier this month to inspect the country's bid and is believed to be positive about it.

Martin was accompanied by Rachel Simon, the CGF's ccordinator of the Commonwealth Youth Games.

One of the key selling points for the Bahamas is the 15,000-seater Thomas A Robinson Stadium in Nassau, which has hosted the first two editions of the 2014 and 2015 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relays.

The Stadium is named after the late Bahamas sprinter Tom Robinson, who competed for Bahamas in three Commonwealth Games.

He won a total of four medals, including the silver medal in the 100 yards on three consecutive occasions, at Cardiff in 1958, Perth in 1962 and Kingston in 1966.

Robinson's only gold medal came at Cardiff in 1958 when he won the 220y.

Bahamas Olympic Committee President Wellington Miller is currently travelling here to outline further the country's plans if they are awarded the Games.

“I’m hoping that the news will be very good, considering that I have to travel so far,” Miller told the tribune242.com.

“I’m very confident that we will get the nomination because we did a very good job selling the Bahamas to Mrs Martin and Mrs Simon when they came here for the site inspection.

"We left them spell bound during their visit.

"Grafton Ifill did a fantastic job in leading the [Bid] Committee that did all of the necessary work.

"We have to give him a lot of credit for the job that he did.

“I’m hoping that when I come back, I will bring some good news with me."

Bahamas would be the sixth edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games, a biennial event.

Developing the Commonwealth Youth Games, a competition for youngsters aged 14 to 18, was a key message in Martin's manifesto last September when she defeated Prince Tunku Imran at the CGF Assembly in Auckland to become the organisation's first female President.

She played a leading role in the first edition of the Games in Edinburgh in 2000 when 733 athletes from 16 countries competed in eight sports.

The last edition of the Games took place last year in Samoa's capital Apia.

Nearly 1,000 athletes from 63 countries participated in nine sports.

Bahamas, though, were one of eight countries who did not compete due to an outbreak of dengue and chikungunya, leaving officials fearful the team could be put at risk.

The CGF Executive Board could also discuss the 2021 Commonwealth Games, which Northern Ireland is bidding for.

GIbraltar have also indicated they could be interested if Northern Ireland withdraw.

This Executive Board meeting already marks a milestone for Gibraltar, an Overseas British Territory, as it is the first time they have ever held such an event.

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