Fri | Jul 28, 2017

Levy performance delights coach Francis

Published:Monday | July 3, 2017 | 7:00 AMRaymond Graham
Jamaica’s Ronald Levy (left) trails countryman Omar McLeod during the men’s 110m hurdles race at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting at Charlety Stadium in Paris, France, on Saturday. Levy went on to win the race in a personal best time of 13.05 seconds.

PARIS, France:

One of, if not the biggest performance at Saturday's IAAF Diamond League Meet at the Stade Charlety in Paris, France, came from someone whom it was least expected from in the form of Jamaica's Ronald Levy. He scored a major upset in winning the Men's 110m hurdles in a personal best 13.05 seconds.

Only advancing as the eighth-fastest qualifier to the final and running out of lane eight, the Stephen Francis and Brigitte Foster-Hylton-coached athlete ran the race for his life. With big favourite McLeod and Shubenkov, the two heat winners having problems in the middle of the pack, Levy ran a near perfect race for a big win, much to the delight of Francis, who was watching from inside the Stadium.

Francis said he was not surprised by his performance.

FAIRLY GOOD RACE

"I was not happy with his performance at the National Senior Championships, but I think he recognised the mistakes he had made and lack of concentration. I think he did a much better job today (Saturday), despite running under fairly bad conditions and I think he ran a fairly good race", said Francs minutes after his athlete's victory.

Francis explained the reason for Levy's improvement. "Brigitte (Foster-Hylton) did a lot of work with him from a technical perspective, as he has always been a good athlete. But he spent more time trying to be injury free and that is the difference then and now, as he passed the month of May without any form of injury," he said.

Francis spoke about the big drop in Levy's personal best, but said he thinks he can go much faster. "I think a lot of people at this meet were affected by the fact of being in Europe too long and too short. Jet lag was a factor and also the weather. We started back serious training in the week, and with these factors, that helped with his improved performance. Taking these into consideration, it will make him a better athlete and he will become a more confident one, believing he can get a medal in London."

Francis, who coached Foster-Hylton to win gold in the Women's 100m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin in 2009, spoke about similarities between both athletes. "Brigitte likes to coach him because he is a hard worker and listens well. The combination between her and myself is a great one because she pays more attention to more detail, which I really miss due to my duties with other athletes. This has done wonders for him and, hopefully, this combination will continue to bear fruits for the remainder of the season," Francis concluded.