Measuring up: Long jumper Tyrone Smith has already qualified for the Olympics, but he could be joined by four other track and field athletes. *AFP photo
Measuring up: Long jumper Tyrone Smith has already qualified for the Olympics, but he could be joined by four other track and field athletes. *AFP photo

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7: What’s the magic number going to be?

There is just under eight months to the start of the 2012 London Olympics and the opportunities to qualify for Bermuda’s athletes have dwindled.

Three are in, but just how many more will get to say they are an Olympian?

Bermuda Olympic Association president Judy Simons said it would be “wonderful” if the country did not have to use any wild card entries by qualifying at least six competitors.

She said the BOA have been told by local governing bodies that there are 12 athletes trying to make the grade, but there are several more who could still figure in the mix.

So far Bermuda has qualified three athletes: long jumper Tyrone Smith, swimmer Roy Burch and one show jumper, which will either be Patrick Nisbett or Jillian Teceira.

Simons said four track and field competitors are still aiming to gain qualification: Tre Houston, Shianne Smith, Aaron Evans and  Arantxa King.

Two-time Olympic swimmer Kiera Aitken will be trying to qualify once again while age group world record holder Lisa Blackburn is also going for it.

Simons added: “We’ve not been officially told about Julian Fletcher, but I’ve seen the article in the newspaper, but he is not on the BOA radar screen officially.”

Besides either Terceira or Nisbett, dressage riders Annabelle Collins and Suzanne Dunkley are attempting to represent Bermuda in London.

Flora Duffy has a very strong shot to make it as a triathlete and Tyler Butterfield will be attempting to qualify again after representing Bermuda in 2004 in Greece.

Zander and Jesse Kirkland in the 49ers Class and Alex Jones in wind surfing are the only sailors left qualifying.

Bermuda had six competitors at the Beijing Olympics and 10 at Athens. Next year’s team should be somewhere in that range.

Countries that do not have at least six athletes qualify can apply for wild cards to bring it up to that total.

Simons said: “We would like to have as many as possible. They are all trying so hard and I would love to see them all go.

“I’d like to say we’ll have enough athletes qualify — that would be great and not have to use the wild card, but we just don’t know until the 11th hour, 58th minute.

“I’m looking for as many Bermudians qualifying to go and that’s the honest to God truth. We have a great bunch of athletes this quadrennium and leading into the next period.

“We’ve seen some great potential as to what they can do over the past three years. They all deserve to go but with rules and regulations what they are, I’d love to see them all qualify.”