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‘Super-super team’ to strike gold at World Juniors

Published:Wednesday | May 25, 2016 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence
Matherson
Ellis
Chambers
Bloomfield
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Jamaica has twice won the 4x100-metre relay for boys at the World Junior Championships. According to veteran coach, Raymond Graham, a third win is possible this year.

Graham, hurdles and relays coach at Kingston College (KC), said Jamaica's likely 2016 sprint relay team has the potential to break 39 seconds.

After a high-school season where Nigel Ellis, Raheem Chambers and Jhevaughn Matherson have all run 100 metres faster than 10.30 seconds, and with Akeem Bloomfield zooming on sprint-relay duty at Boys and Girls' Championships and at the Penn Relays, Graham is optimistic Jamaica can win gold at the event, which has been renamed the World Under-20 Championships.

BEST CHANCE

"This is Jamaica's best chance of winning the 4x100 again," he said.

Gold has already come to Jamaica from the boys' 4x100 in 1998 and 2006.

"I hope I could work with a team like this, it's a super team," he gleamed.

"To be honest with you," he predicted. "I see a 38.9 team here."

His reference was no accident, as the national junior record is 38.97 seconds, set by the 2012 World Junior runner-up team of Tyquendo Tracey, Odean Skeen, Jevaughn Minzie and Jazheel Murphy.

Graham hopes the team will get a chance to prepare optimally.

"I think once they get in camp," he projected, "and I hope the JAAA will get them out early, get the baton change, because that is very important.

"This is a super-super team and I hope Jamaica will do its best to ensure that this team goes all the way," he said.

The world junior 4x100 record of 38.66 seconds was set by a USA team including champion 400-metre runner LaShawn Merritt at the 2004 World Junior Championships.