With last year's disappointing fourth-place finish in the boys Class 1 400 metres at the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships (Champs) still fresh in his mind, Edwin Allen's quarter-miler Delano Kennedy says he will be pulling all stops to secure the gold medal this year.
Kennedy, 19, who is the reigning Carifta Under-20 400m champion, is the fastest Jamaican high school 400m runner going into this year's championships with a time of 46.26 seconds.
Champs will be held from March 28 to April 1 at the National Stadium.
Despite this, Kennedy shared that he is not taking anything for granted as he goes after the gold medal, and in the process, put on a good showing for his family and friends during the five-day event.
"I am ready for Champs because I have worked very hard up to this point, and so it is just for me to go out and execute on the day," said Kennedy, who is in his final year at Champs.
"Last year I finished fourth in the final, so this year I am a lot more focused and determined because this is my last boys' Champs, and I would like to end with the gold medal," he added.
The soft-spoken Kennedy, who has a personal best time of 45.49, won the 400m at the Carifta Trials two weeks ago.
In pursuit of Champs gold, he is expected to receive strong competition from Jasauna Dennis from St Elizabeth Technical, who has the second fastest time going into Champs, along with Tyreese Ebanks of Green Island, and Kingston College's Emnanuel Rwotomiya.
"Winning at the Carifta Trials has given me a lot of confidence, and so I am feeling good going into Champs and it shows that I am also in good form and I just want to continue that at Champs," he said.
Kennedy said he will be looking to lower his personal best time at the championships, aiming to end his Champs career on a high note.
"I would love to run a personal time and I am feeling very good in myself that I can achieve it, but I know that it is not going to be easy, but with the shape that I am in now, I know I can do it," he said.
The heats of the boys and girls 400m events are scheduled to begin on Tuesday's opening day of the championships.