Scintillating Francis clocks 45.95sec at Youngster Goldsmith Classic

Scintillating Francis clocks 45.95sec at Youngster Goldsmith Classic


BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter

Saturday, February 01, 2014

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World Championships relay silver medallist Javon Francis of Calabar High had the National Stadium buzzing following his magnificent 45.95-second run in winning Heat Seven of the Class One 400m at the Youngster Goldsmith Classic yesterday.

Francis's time was said to be the fastest ever run at the meet, being the first sub-46-second, but could not be ratified by the organisers up to press time.

Francis showed that he could break Usain Bolt's 400m Champs record of 45.35 done almost 11 years ago in 2003.

Francis, or 'Donkey Man' as he is called, went out like a bullet from lane three and at the 200m mark he was up on the shoulders of last year's Class Two record holder Deshaun Baker of JC, before leaving him for dead coming into the straight for an effortless victory.

Baker was second quickest overall in 47.70 seconds, with Heat Six winner Lennox Williams third overall after cruising home in 47.71 seconds.

This was Francis's first 400m for the year and in a couple of months, barring injuries, a sub-45 clocking is on the cards at Champs. He is expected to be pushed by World Youth 400m champion Martin Manley of St Jago, who has done 45.89, and Lennox Williams of Manchester High, who is expected to run sub-46 this year.

Calabar showed their strength in the 400 metres as Anthony Carpenter stopped the clock at 49.63 seconds to be the fastest in Class Two ahead of his teammate Akyeeme Francis in 49.67. They were the only two athletes under 50 seconds.

In Class Three, sprinter Tyreke Wilson showed that he has stamina, winning his 400m heat in 52.10 seconds, but was upstaged by his teammate and 400m specialist Christopher Taylor with 50.22.

World Youth 400m hurdles champion Marvin Williams of St Elizabeth Technical High School showed that he will be hard to beat with an impressive 52.70-second clocking in the boys' 400m hurdles. He has a best of 50.39 seconds and is expected to lower that by time Champs comes around.

Wolmer's Jaheel Hyde was second fastest with 53.20, with Jamar McNaughton of St Elizabeth third overall in 53.90 seconds.

Calabar's Dejour Russell was awesome in recording the fastest time in the Class Three 100m hurdles, easing home in 13.87 seconds. Jamaica College's Jordon Roberts was second quickest with 14.22.

World Youth 200m champion Michael O'Hara was quickest in his pet event, winning Heat Two of the Class One 110m hurdles in 14.06 seconds. Jovaine Atkinson of Kingston College was second overall in 14.47 seconds in Heat One, just ahead of Marvin Williams of STETHS with 14.48.

Meanwhile, Edwin Allen High were quickest in two of the girls' sprint hurdles as Antonette Black did 11.03 seconds in the Class Four 70m hurdles, and Claudette Allen did likewise in Class One in the 100m hurdles with 14.63 ahead of her teammate Shanice Lewis, who won Heat One in 14.85 seconds.

Holmwood High won the Class Three 80m hurdles with Shanette Allison in 11.80 seconds, while her teammate Ashley Williams captured the 400m Under-20 in 1:00.30 minutes. St Jago's Ayeshia Morgan won the Under-17 300m hurdles in 45.60 seconds.

The promising Rochelle Burton of St Andrew High won the Class Two 100m hurdles in an impressive 13.89 seconds.

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