'Donkeyman' looking for a Jamaican in 400m final

August 05, 2017
National 400 metres champion Nathon Allen at the University of Birmingham on Monday.
Demish Gaye
Javon Francis

Nathon Allen, Demish Gaye and Steven Gayle have the full support of two-time national 400 metre champion Javon Francis. Speaking in St Catherine on the eve of the World Championships, Francis expressed the hope that a Jamaican will race in the final of his event at the World Championships in London. He also believes that Jamaica will do well in the men's 4x400 metres.

"I'd like to see a Jamaican 400 metre athlete make it to the final. Over the years they say Jamaica doesn't have any quarter-milers but we are young and I see the quarter-milers improve so hopefully, all the three persons who participate in the 400 metres, I wish they can make the final."

Allen, 21; Gaye, 24, and Gayle, 23, placed first, second and third at the National Senior Championships in June.


Niggling hamstring


Should any of them advance to the 400m final, it would be the first time since 2011 that a Jamaican has done so. In 2011, Jermaine Gonzales placed fourth, just 0.03 from the bronze medal.

Francis anchored Jamaica to silver medals at the 2013 World Championships when he was a Calabar High School student and last year at the Olympics. Sadly, a niggling hamstring strain has pushed the 22 year-old relay genius off track this time around. Nevertheless, he thinks the 4x400 team will manage without him.

"It's a pretty good team, well solid without me and I feel they can medal and will medal," he predicted.

Considering that the relay pool includes national record holder Rusheen McDonald, 22 year-old newcomer Jamari Rose and experienced Peter Matthews, Francis added, "Once they get the stick around and everyone plays their part, I feel that my team can win."

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