Boys drool at prospect of thrilling 400m finale
Jamaica College’s Malique Smith-Band leaves the field behind in the semi-finals of the Boys’ Class One 400m at the (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium on Wednesday. St Elizabeth Technical’s Jasauna Dennis (left) trails the winner.

Jamaica's top junior quarter-milers are promising a pulsating contest when they line up in today's final of the Class One 400 metres at the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships at the National Stadium.

Jamaica College's (JC) Malique Smith-Band leads all eight finalists into today's final after he won his semi-final heat in a personal best 46.66 seconds on Wednesday. He erased his previous best of 47.45.

Edwin Allen's Delano Kennedy, who is the fastest in the field with a personal best 45.49, has the second-best time heading into the final after he won his semi-final in 46.90.

Kingston College's (KC) Amal Glasgow, who comfortably won his semi-final heat in 46.90, has the third fastest time heading into the highly anticipated finale.

Kennedy, who finished fourth in last year's final of the event, said he is very confident of winning the gold medal. However, he stated that the event is going to be a tough final because all the competitors have done well this season.

"I am feeling good that I am in the final and that I have a chance to win the gold medal. I know that I am going to run a much faster time or even a personal best in the final tomorrow [today].

"The semi-finals times were good and I know that the final is going to be very exciting and you will see some faster times," Kennedy said.

Meanwhile, the resurging Smith-Band, who missed last year's championships due to injuries, says while he expects the final to be very competitive, he is confident of winning a medal in the event.

"To be honest, I feel very elated to be in the final. Words can't explain how I am feeling to know the struggles and pain I felt last season, so I am grateful.

"The final is going to be a ding-dong battle because it is a very competitive field, and so I am not going to doubt anyone [as] I am just going to go out there and do my best," Smith-Band said.

Glasgow plans to do his best. "I am feeling good and I am feeling confident. I know that it is timing and God does everything. It should be an exciting final," he stated.

The other finalists are Emmanuel Rwotomiy (KC), Jasauna Dennis (St Elizabeth), Mark Anthony Miller (JC), Enrique Webster (St Elizabeth), and Chevoney Reid (St Andrew Technical).

Robert Bailey

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