St Andrew's Janielle Josephs ready and set to go


Thursday, February 22, 2018

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The name Janielle Josephs might not be one that is on everybody's lips. But by the end of the Digicel Grand Prix Series, that name could become a household one.

The 17-year-old Josephs of St Andrew High School has emerged as one of the island's most promising athletes over the 200m and 400m.

The talented sprinter captured the double at the Digicel Anthrick Corporate Area Championship, winning the Class Two 200m in 24.62 (-2.4 mps) and the 400m in a record 55.15 seconds.

Joseph, now under the guidance of Raymond “KC” Graham, pocketed $25,000 after lowering Tiffany James' 2014 record of 55.28 seconds.

With a personal record of 54.7, Josephs is looking forward to the Digicel Grand Prix final on March 10 at the GC Foster College.

“I expect it to be good and I hope to run faster than Corporate Area (Champs),” she told the Jamaica Observer.

Joseph showed a lot of maturity in copping the strenuous 200m/400m double by running her heats in relaxed fashion while saving her best for the proverbial last.

In the 400m, she clocked 59.45, which was the sixth-fastest into the final, but went four seconds faster to capture gold.

The versatile runner credited her performance to her coach, Graham, and her training which she said “has been coming on good”.

“He motivates me sometimes and told me that I am special and talented,” she pointed out.

“At Champs I really want to be on the podium, but nothing less than the silver medal. I mean, I work so hard and I think I really deserve it. I think this year is really my year,” Josephs added.

However, she will have her hands full with her main rival Joanna Reid of St Jago and company, but she is looking forward to the challenge.

“I really am looking forward to it. I think it will be a good competition,” said Josephs.

Outside of the Digicel Grand Prix and Champs, she hopes to finally make a Jamaica team for the first time to the Carifta Games and also the IAAF World U-20 Championships.

“I am going to try out for Carifta and hopefully I make it, because I have tried so many times and it never worked. Then there is Penn Relays and I am going to try for the World Juniors also,” she noted.

St Andrew High finished sixth at the Corporate Area Champs with 77 points. Excelsior won with 166 ahead of Wolmer's Girls with 101. Immaculate Conception and The Queens School were joint third on 95 points, followed by Camperdown High on 81.

Joseph believes her school has been improving leaps and bounds and will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future.

“The team, I can say, has improved over the years and this year, I can say we are an improved team. The girls are more disciplined and all the areas have been improving — the throws, the jumps, the hurdlers and the sprinters,” she explained.

Josephs capped off a magnificent championship with a sterling second leg that propelled St Andrew High to victory in the 4x100m relays in 47.76 seconds for her third gold medal.

— Howard Walker

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