Wilson urges caution with quarter-mile conditioning
With the three fastest quarter-milers in the world this year, Jamaica's world Under-20 4x400m team has a legitimate chance of doing something extra-ordinary at the World Under-20 championship in Tampere, Finland.
National coach Maurice Wilson is urging their respective handlers to take this into consideration as they finalise preparation for the July 10-15 Championship.
"I cannot recall that we have beaten the USA internationally, in the 4x400m on the male side more than three times. They are going to be difficult to beat, but we do have the talent and the potential," Wilson said. "But what is important is to make sure they (the athletes) are at the same level that they were when they ran their best times for the season."
Dashawn Morris' 45.09 seconds performance at the ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships this year is ranked number one on the 400m under-20 list. Florida based, Chantz Sawyers, 45.40 seconds is the second fastest time on that list, while Anthony Carpenter's 45.47 seconds at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships this year rounds out the top three.
With the dynamic Christopher Taylor, who has ran more 200m races this season and has a personal best of 45.27 seconds in the 400m, the team is not only a favourite to win the gold medal, but also has a shot to break the world under-20 record of 3:00.33.
That record was set by the USA last year at the Pan American Junior Championships in Peru by the quartet of Josephus Lyles, Zachary Shinnick, Brian Herron and Sean Hooper.
Incidentally, Calabar's 4x400m team at the Penn Relays this year recorded the fastest under-20 time this year with 3:03.79.
"I want to talk about winning first. If we get the record then we will take it, but we do have a good shot of winning," Wilson said.