'We'll keep on working!'
Coach Powell has high hopes for Edwin Allen quarter-miler Kennedy
Edwin Allen quarter-miler Delano Kennedy in action for his country. (Photos: Observer file)

Leon Powell, coach of Edwin Allen's outstanding national junior quarter-miler Delano Kennedy, says that his young charge is well poised to run a lot faster than he has ever done in the 400m event this season.

Kennedy, who has a personal best of 45.49 seconds, which he achieved last year, opened his season at the Central Hurdles, Relays, Jumps & Throws meet at the G C Foster College of Physical Education and Sport in St Catherine last Saturday, with a time of 47.93 to win the boys Class One 400m event.

Powell told the Jamaica Observer that Kennedy has trained a lot harder coming into this season and is optimistic that his athlete can eclipse his personal best time in the event this year.

"That is the target for him to improve on his personal best time this year, but we haven't set a timeline as to when it will happen yet, and so we just keep on working and whenever that time comes it comes," Powell said.

"I am more pleased with the execution because it was a good execution of this race [on Saturday], and based on what he has been doing in training, to expect more than 47 seconds in this race would be very greedy of me. It was a respectable time and I do accept that at this point of the season," he added.

Powell pointed out that Kennedy, who turns 19 on February 2, has got a lot faster this year because his main focus is to win the gold medal at this year's ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships, which will be held March 28-April 1.

"I think that he is definitely a lot stronger in terms of the weight room, and he is a lot faster now in terms of speed, and so I am expecting a great season from him and so I just want to keep him healthy and you can expect the unexpected, basically," Powell said of Kennedy, who finished fourth in the final of the boys Class One 400m final at Champs last year.

"He wants to win and he wants to bow out of Champs with a gold medal this year and we are on course for that because he definitely wants to be on the podium this year," he said.

Powell also shared that once Kennedy remains healthy and injury-free then he is not ruling out the possibility of him competing at the National Senior Championships this year.

"I never really trained athletes to run with the seniors, and so it is just based on how they are performing, and if he is on par with the seniors, then I will allow him to compete with them, [but] we will wait and see what happens this year," he said.

POWELL...that is the target for him to improve on his personal best time this year
BY ROBERT BAILEY Staff reporter baileyr@jamaicaobserver.com

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