André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Eighteen-year-old schoolboy Javon Francis last Friday ensured that whenever there is a discussion on the greatest 4x400 metres relays legs by a Jamaican at the IAAF World Championships that his will be among the names mentioned.
The Calabar High student ran an impressive 44.00 seconds split on the anchor leg to power Jamaica to a silver medal, stopping the clock at 2:59.88, with the United States taking the gold medal in 2:58.71 and Russia finishing third for the bronze 2:59.90
Already being hailed as an answer to Jamaica's 400m woes of recent years, Francis' superhuman effort, which brought the Jamaican team from fifth to second - their sixth 'Worlds' 4x400m silver and ninth overall medal in the event - has carved his name in the corridors of Jamaican relay running at these championships.
Francis' time is the sixth-best split by a Jamaican in the 4x400m at the IAAF World Championships but only two men have gone faster than him, Davian Clarke and Gregory Haughton, with Clarke responsible for the four fastest splits by a Jamaican at 'Worlds', including 43.7 split in the semi-final at the 1995 Gothenburg edition as a 19-year-old.
Clarke returned to post 44.1 in the final but even that is way off his best.
Considered a relay specialist, Clarke, whose only senior global individual medal came at the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships with a silver medal effort, registered a 43.5 leg at the 1997 Athens World Championships, helping Jamaica to a silver medal.
Times of 43.8 in Seville in 1999, this time as an anchor-leg runner and 43.81 at the 2005 Helsinki championships cement his spot as one of Jamaica's most lethal relay runners.
Gregory Haughton follows with the fifth best time; a 43.88 effort on the third leg in a result that saw Jamaica get silver - one of the six, which have been won at this championships over the years.
Francis' run will perhaps hold a special significance to most because of the fact that he took the team from fifth to second as well as the youthfulness of the entire team.
Francis' sizzling 44.00 leg!
Top Jamaican 4x400m relay splits at World Champs:
Davian Clarke (Athens 1997) 43.5
Davian Clarke (Gothenburg 1995) 43.7
Davian Clarke (Seville 1999) 43.8
Davian Clarke (Helsinki 2005) 43.81
Gregory Haughton (Edmonton 2001) 43.88
Javon Francis (Moscow 2013) 44.00
Davian Clarke (Paris 2003) 44.04