Sport

Calabar to carry on without injured Javon Francis

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Thursday, April 24, 2014    

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PHILADELPHIA, USA — If Calabar High are to retain their High School Boys Championships of Americas 4x400m relay title on Saturday at the 120th Penn Relays, they will have to do it without the enigmatic Javon Francis.

Francis is still recovering from an injury he picked up at the recent ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships. His coach Michael Clarke told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that while the athlete was with his teammates in Philadelphia, he would not be competing.

"This is a new injury, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) was done and showed a grade one strain just between the glutes and the hamstring," Clarke said.

Francis was seen jogging and stretching with the other members of the Calabar High team during a training session yesterday morning at the Team Jamaica Bickle base in Essington, near Philadelphia.

Calabar High are one of the favourites to win here and a Calabar High team with Francis on the anchor leg ran 3:07.00 minutes to win at Gibson Relays in February, but at Boys Champs with Francis out, St Jago High won in 3:08.31 ahead of St Elizabeth Technical's 3:08.67.

Last year Francis ran a blistering 44.9 seconds anchor leg to take Calabar from third place to the victory in a brilliant 3:09.22 the second best time ever, beating two-time defending champions Munro College, who ran their best time ever here 3:09.24, the third best time ever.

Francis, who was named the Penn Relays High School boys athlete for relay events later in the year, went on to distinguish himself on an even bigger stage taking Jamaica from fifth to second in the 4x400m at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

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