Francis flees

Francis leaves Akan to train in Texas

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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Jamaica's 400m man, Javon Francis has decided to uproot from his Jamaican training base to the USA.

In a release from his agents JAD Professional Management Limited, the 23-year-old Olympian is said to have joined Darryl Woodson's Training Ground Elite group based in Texas, leaving the Michael Clarke-coached Akan Track Club which has groomed him through the various phases of his career.

“Mr Javon Francis believes that this will further help with his development in becoming a world-class 400m athlete. Mr Francis wishes to thank Akan Head Coach Michael Clarke who has been not just a coach, but a mentor to him for the past seven years, from junior to senior level,” the release stated.

The decision by Francis, according to JAD Professional Management Limited, was made after careful considerations, taking into account all aspects.

“The decision (to transition between coaches) was done after careful consideration and discussion with his family, close friends and his management team. He believes that this step can only be beneficial to both,” the release noted.

Francis was quoted as saying: “At this point in my career I felt it necessary to make this move for simply track and field reasons, and believe it will impact my career positively.

“I am really thankful to Mr Michael Clarke and the entire Akan and Calabar family for the work they put in to getting me where I am. I always felt comfortable working with them and will forever be grateful,” Francis quote went on.

The move, JAD Professional Management Limited claims, should not be viewed as an indictment on the quality of Jamaica's coaches, but instead should be seen as a strictly business decision.

“Mr Francis has always respected and admired the tremendous work done and progress made by local coaches and athletes, therefore, the decision to train in the US was prompted by his desire for a fresh start in a different environment.

“He considers training overseas to be his best option at this time and continues to have the most respect and admiration for our local coaches and facilities,” the statement went on.

Francis, a schoolboy track and field star for alma mater Calabar High, has moved on to win silver medals in the 4400m relays at the 2013 World Championships and 2016 Rio Olympics. At the 2016 Olympics he also took part in the individual 400m event, but was eliminated in the semi-finals.

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