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'I feel much faster' - Fit-again Francis ready to show speed in 2018

Published:Wednesday | January 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica's Javon Francis celebrates after anchoring his team to the silver medal in the men's 4x400 metres at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Two-time national 400 metre champion Javon Francis will return to action this Saturday at the third staging of the McKenley/Wint Track and Field Classic at Calabar High School.

Now recovered from the hamstring niggles that sidelined him last year, Francis is raring to go and hopes his run will be the first step towards representing Jamaica at the World Indoor Championships in March and the Commonwealth Games in April.

Last year, his opening race was at the same meet over 800 metres. Speaking at the McKenley/Wint launch on January 16, Francis laughed at the memory of that come-from-behind victory.

"I'm going to run the 400m Saturday at McKenley/Wint, so I'm just looking forward to come out there and just do what I have to do and come out victorious," said Francis.

"I'm running very fast in training, so I've got to see what's coming on Saturday," added the 2016 Olympic 4x400m relay silver medal winner.

Though the injury is behind him, Francis is aggrieved about missing what would have been his third trip to the World Championships.

"(I am) Very disappointed, so we're just going to rebound and come back and see what we can do," said the 2013 and 2015 World Championships semi-finalist.

Training is going well, he submitted, and is designed by Akan Track Club coach Michael Clarke to get him ready to earn selection for the World Indoors and the Commonwealth Games.




"It's my first time indoors so I'm just going to go there and try it," said Francis, who explained that he has gotten much insight in indoor running, which is conducted at banked 200-metre tracks.

Like many, Francis is experiencing a difference in the structure of his training programme. With those meets so early, he has to be sharp well before the summer when the World Championships and the Olympics are held.

"The programme is set like 2014 in high school, so it's very fast," he said, with reference to his last season as a Calabar schoolboy.

He ran 45.00 seconds to win at Champs in that season and is feeling the speed again.

"I feel much faster than last year," reasoned the man with a personal best of 44.50 seconds. "Being fully fit, I just feel really, really so happy to go back on the track."