Francis ready for indoor challenge - J'cans get started in Birmingham
Jamaican quarter-miler Javon Francis said he is in good form going into today's heats of the men's 400m at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, England, and is confident of making the final of the event.
Francis, who will be competing at the championships for the first time, is the second-fastest Jamaican in the 400m this season, with a time of 45.97 seconds.
Akeem Bloomfield, who was not available for the World Indoors this year, is the fastest Jamaican in the event, with a time of 45.02 seconds.
Francis, who has recovered from a niggling hamstring injury, which kept him out of action last year, told The Gleaner that he is fully recovered and that he is ready to compete today.
"I am feeling pretty well going into this championships because I am very confident in myself," said Francis, following yesterday's training session at Arena Birmingham, where the championships is being held.
"I am very focused because I know what I can do, and so I am going out to qualify for the next round," he said.
"I think I need to run my first 60m very fast and try and get the break first and try to control the race from there, and so this is my main focus going into the race," said the two-time national champion.
"My preparations have gone well because last week was the Gibson McCook Relays, and I ran well, and so I know that I am in good form, and so I am just looking forward to doing my best. My aim is to go to the final and win my first individual medal for the country," Francis said.
Steven Gayle is the other Jamaican down to compete in the individual 400m event today, which gets going at 6:20 a.m.
Nine other Jamaicans will bow into action on today's second day of competition at the four-day championships. Elaine Thompson, along with Gayon Evans and Remona Burchell, (who is listed to compete despite reportedly withdrawing from the meet), will line up in the women's 60m heat.
Stephenie-Ann McPherson and Tovea Jenkins will contest the women's 400m heats, with Aisha Praught featuring in the women's 1500m prelims. Danniel Thomas-Dodd will fancy her chances in the women's shot put, with Kemoy Campbell and Damar Forbes competing in the men's 3000m and long jump, respectively.
- 5:35 a.m.: W 60 Metres Heats (Gayon Evans, Elaine Thompson, Remona Burchell)
- 6:20 a.m.: M 400 Metres Heats (Javon Francis, Steven Gayle)
- 7:10 a.m.: W 400 Metres Heats (Stephenie-Ann McPherson, Tovea Jenkins)
- 7:55 a.m.: M 3000 Metres Heats (Kemoy Campbell)
- 2:35pm M Long Jump Final (Damar Forbes)
- 2:42 p.m.: W 1500 Metres Heats (Aisha Praught)
- 3:10 p.m.: W Shot Put Final (Danniel Thomas-Dodd)
- 3:32 p.m.: W 400 Metres Semi-finals
- 4:06 p.m.: M 400 Metres Semi-finals
- 4:38 p.m.: W 60 Metres FINAL