AALIYAH NOT SATISFIED …wanted more at JAAA 'Trials'
'I could have done better,' — FrancisThursday, July 01, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
Rusea's High School's Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) championships Class One girls' double gold medallist Aaliyah Francis was hoping for better results at last weekend's Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Ministry of Sports/Supreme Ventures National Junior Championships at the National Stadium, in what could be her final championships this year on local soil.
Like most of the athletes who participated in the four-day event, Francis is looking forward to her first national team, the World Athletics Under-20 Championships that will be held August 17-22 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Francis was one of the standout athletes of the ISSA boys' and girls' championships in May, winning the 200m and 400m gold medals, a repeat of her double, weeks earlier, at the County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) Western Championships.
She, however, finished second in the Under-20 200m final, running 23.78 seconds (-1.7m/s), behind Edwin Allen's Tina Clayton (23.61 seconds), and faded to third in the 400m, running 54.56 seconds at the “Trials” last weekend.
Francis, who confirmed that she will be attending Auburn University in Alabama starting later this year, was not happy with her overall performance at the championships, especially in the 200m.
“I was not too happy overall,” she told the Jamaica Observer West.
“My 200m race was not up to standard, I could have done better, I tightened up on the home straight and that messed up my form. I was hoping to get a personal best in the 200m but it did not work out,” said a disappointed Francis.
As one of the outstanding high school athletes this year, Francis attracted attention from some of the top US universities, but said she chose Auburn because…”I think Auburn is a better fit for me and the programme that I think can get me to the next level.”
Francis said she plans to study finance at the university, where she will follow in the footsteps of a number of Jamaicans who carved out a niche at the Alabama-based institution.
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