Sun | Jan 20, 2019

Francis makes his move - 400m star confirms departure from local track club to US outfit

Published:Wednesday | September 26, 2018 | 12:00 AM

JAD Professional Management Limited, the company handling the affairs of former Calabar High and national 400 metres star Javon Francis, has now confirmed that the Olympian will be leaving his local club Akan for a United States-based outfit.

In an exclusive report yesterday The Gleaner said Francis had made an attempt to move to another local club but failed to get an agreement and decided to go overseas. His coach at Akan, Michael Clarke, declined to comment when contacted.

In its release JAD Professional Management said Francis has decided to train in Texas, USA with coach Darryl Woodson for the 2018/2019 season and beyond.

"Mr Francis believes that this will further help with his development in becoming a world class 400m athlete. Mr Francis wishes to thank Akan head coach. Michael Clarke who has been not just a coach but a mentor to him for the past seven years from junior to senior level," the release said.

It added: "The decision to transition to coach Darryl Woodson is a significant step and one that he did not take lightly. This was done after careful consideration and discussion with his family, close friends and his management team. He believes that this step can only be beneficial to both himself and coach Woodson.

"Mr Francis, has always respected and admired the tremendous work done and progress made by local coaches and athletes and therefore the decision to train in the US was prompted by his desire for a fresh start in a different environment. He considers training overseas to be his best option at this time and continues to have the most respect and admiration for our local coaches and facilities."

According to the release Francis was grateful for the help he got from Clarke.

"I am really thankful to Mr. Michael Clarke and the entire Akan and Calabar family for the work they put in to get me where I am. I always felt comfortable working with them and will forever be grateful".

Francis' best moments at the international level have come in the 4x400m relay. At the 2013 IAAF World Championships he led the Jamaican team to a silver medal with a brilliant final leg. He was also a member of the quartet which won silver at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has a personal best of 44.50 for 400m.