Jamaica’s Youth show promise at WC
By Dania Bogle
Javon Francis is the name which, will for most Jamaicans, standout at the recent IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Moscow, Russia.
The 18 year old, who was also the youngest member of the team, ran his heart out to take Jamaica from fifth into second and a silver medal in the men’s 4x400m relay. That was after a brilliant display on the anchor leg chasing British athlete Martin Rooney in the semi-finals of the event.
Francis, a Calabar High School fourth-former, under the guidance of his coach and Jamaica’s head coach in Russia, Michael Clarke, forewent Jamaica’s Junior Championships to compete in the Senior event in June and clocked a personal best 45.24 seconds to finish second in the 400m..
In the individual event he posted 45.37 to finish second in heat two in Moscow but unfortunately that’s where his individual campaign ended as he 45.62 for fifth in semi-final one.
Francis was the youngest but several other Jamaican youth and collegians also did well in Moscow.
Another 400m runner, 22-year old Seaforth High student, Javere Bell ran his personal best 45.08 at the trials before clocking 45.20 in Moscow in heat five. Bell finished seventh in semi-final three in 45.77 and was unable to run in the finals of the 4x400m after suffering an injury in the semi-finals of the relay.
National sprint hurdles champion Danielle Williams has had an outstanding year. The Johnson C. Smith University undergrad clocked all three of the personal best within the last three months. She posted personals bests of 11.24 (100m) and 22.62 (200m) at the NCAA Division II Championships in Pueblo, Colorado in May and 12.69 in the 100m hurdles at the National Championships in June.
Williams clocked 13.11 seconds for third in heat two of the women’s 100m hurdles in Moscow. Williams was unable to make it past the semi-finals of the event after posting 13.13 seconds to finish sixth in semi-final three.
Twenty-two year old Natoya Goule won the NCAA Division I Championships 800m title at Louisiana State University, in May and won the National Championships in a personal best 1:59.93 to make the IAAF standard for Moscow. Jamaica’s only representative in the women’s 800m, among the more seasoned and mature crowd in the Russian capital posted 2:00.93 for sixth in heat three and missed out on a spot in the semi-finals.