Women’s 400m set to light up national trials
MCLEOD...World Championships medal hopeful

If last year’s performance is anything to go by, the women’s 400m at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) National Championships, set to start on Thursday at the National Stadium, will bring much excitement.

Last year, Candice McLeod and Roneisha McGregor stepped up their games, and along with many-time national champion Stephenie-Ann McPherson, took the fans along for a joyous ride all the way to the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Seven of the eight finalists last year ran personal bests as McLeod lowered her personal best no fewer than 10 times through the season and was fifth in the Olympics, one spot behind McPherson’s cruel fourth place.

McPherson seemed destined for a place on the Olympic medal podium with a series of excellent perfomances, but came up just short. Now, the wily veteran will hope to add to her World Championships bronze from Moscow in 2013.

This year the women’s quarter-mile pool could have even more depth if college standouts Charokee Young and Stacey-Ann Williams are able to replicate their NCAA forms.

Young was the world leader for a long time with her personal best 49.87 seconds, while Williams lowerd her life time best to 50.18 seconds in the semi-finals of the NCAA Division One Outdoors semi-finals.

Add dark horse Kavia Francis — who also lowered her personal best to 51.15 seconds at the Big 12 Championships and was the third Jamaican in the NCAA finals at Hayward Field — and the women’s relay team will start as medal favourites.

— Paul Reid

MCPHERSON...seemed destined for a place on the Olympic medal podium with a series of excellent perfomances, but came up just short (Photos: Observer file)
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Paul Reid

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