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Well done, record breaker Anderson, says Elliott

Published:Friday | June 17, 2022 | 12:06 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

Noted coach Mark Elliott has congratulated Navasky Anderson, who set a new national record of one minute 45.02 seconds in the 800 metres last week. Elliott, coach of women’s national record holder Natoya Goule, hopes Anderson’s performance will inspire others to focus on the two-lap event.

Elliott was with his Clemson University team at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Outdoor Championships where Anderson cut down a 45-year-old Jamaican record in Eugene, Oregon. “I’m very proud of him, and of course happy it’s a St Jago High School athlete, but happy it’s a Jamaican athlete first,” Elliott said. “I have said this many times, but I’ll keep saying it, hopefully, that can bring more athletes like him out of the woodwork and we can realise that 800m, 1500m, we can run that too,” the 1985 Boys’ Championships 5000-metre winner underlined.

The race not only earned Anderson a silver medal, but also saw him surpass the World Championship qualifying time of 1:45.20.

“I’m always proud when I see the 100m, 200m and 400m, but there are 21 disciplines, and now the throwers are doing it. It’s just to incrementally creep up the ladder of the different events that are there. There are many talented people 2ho are walking around in Jamaica. I know that. There’s no question about it,” Elliott said.

Anderson covered the first lap of his record race in 51.4 seconds and Elliott hopes next week’s national championship race will match that pace. “The only person in that race in my opinion who can just run to win is Navasky because he has the qualifying standard. Outside of that, if their goal is to make a World Championship team, they’ve got to run 1.45.20,” coach Elliott reasoned.

Then he outlined the 400m, 500m and 600m split times that might give someone else a chance to reach the qualifying standard.

“So you have to execute and be 51 and hopefully 1.04, 1.05, then 1.17 and let’s make it a honest race home and see how it goes,” he suggested.

Reminded of the world-record run by Kenyan hero, David Rudisha – 1:40.91 – at the 2012 Olympics, Elliot replied: “That’s how you run an 800m. It’s a controlled sprint. It’s not a distance race.”

Rudisha led all the way, with splits of 49.3 and 1:14.3.

Elliott’s charge, Rajay Hamilton, lowered his personal best to 1:46.16 in New York on Sunday.

“In practice, he shows he’s ready to run 1.45. It’s just a matter of him executing the whole way,” the coach noted.

Once again, he recommended a fast opening lap.

“You need that front runner that brings the pace out and that may not be the case, it could be a 1.46 race, but my goal is to see where he could get to and get to a qualifying standard,” Elliott said.