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March 15, 2013
Star Sport


Ottey targets Champs gold - Grandniece of famous sprinter tackles long jump, 400m sprint
MARC STAMP, Star Writer

Francis Ottey

Francis Ottey, a grandniece of legendary track icon Merlene Ottey, hopes to capture two medals for Green Island High of Hanover in the girls category of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships.

The athlete has, however, opted to go longer distances than her famous relative, who made her name competing, and still competes, over the 100m and 200m distances.

Ottey finished second in the Class Three 400 metres preliminary round (Heat Five) in a personal best time of 1:01 yesterday. She, as a result, moved on to today's semi-final round, which will start at 1:35 p.m.

"Hopefully, I will be able to advance to the final in the 400 metres as this is my first Champs. I would really love to medal and I have been working hard in training," Francis told Star Sports, after her run in the Class Three 400 metres preliminary round yesterday.

ready to race

"This is my second 400 metres of the season. I won the race at the Kirkvine Invitational Meet in January. I am ready for the race tomorrow (today)," she added.

Francis will also be competing in the long jump, which she says is her stronger event.

"My aim is to win two medals at Champs and make my family, coach and school proud," she said.

She further disclosed that other members of her family have done track and field in the past, but none has been as successful, that is apart from her Jamaica-born grandaunt, who is now representing her adopted country Slovenia.

Francis' school coach Michael McIntosh spoke highly of his charge.

"She is going to be one for the future, a good prospect. This is her first Champs and I hope that she will make an impression," McIntosh said.

Merlene Ottey

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