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August 12, 2013
Star Sport


Francis couldn't wait

Jamaica's Javon Francis runs during the men's 400 metres qualifying at the World Athletics Championships, at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, yesterday. - Ricardo Makyn

MOSCOW, Russia

Jamaican schoolboy Javon Francis was most likely the most tired athlete on the track in his 400m heat at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics inside the Luzhniki Stadium.

The 18 year-old, 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships finalist, competing in his first senior international championships, was still grinning minutes after his relatively comfortable 45.37, second-place finish, which booked him a spot in today's semi-final.

Francis, who promised to give his very last for a space in the final, said the build-up to yesterday's heat was a nerve-wracking experience, with him going to bed in his running vest and tights, getting very little sleep when it was all said and done.

"Last night I was really excited. I was up talking to my friend Jason Livermore. I even slept in my vest and tights; I couldn't wait, I was so happy. I woke up every minute asking him if it was time for me to leave for the stadium yet, so I really give thanks that it went well," Francis said.

It was a solid and mature run from the youngster, who is coached at the Akan Track Club, by his Calabar head coach Michael Clarke, who is also in Moscow as the head coach of the Jamaican team.

very glad

"I am feeling very glad about how this race went and I want to thank God for bringing me to this point. Also my coach who has worked so hard with me, it will pay off," Francis said.

"I am happy with the time and the first race, even though I went a little faster than I wanted to for the first round. I am going to do my best in the next round."

"This is a dream for me," said Francis, who was competing outside of Jamaica for the first time this season. "I really wanted to compete on the biggest stages like this, I always told my coach that. I watch a lot of clips with big stars such as Michael Johnson and Kirani James and it certainly motivates me and helps me to keep going."

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