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Young athletes thinking big

Published:Wednesday | January 30, 2019 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Taylor
Pinnock
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Calabar High’s captain, Christopher Taylor, is on a short list of young Jamaican athletes who have their eyes on the senior World Championships. Earlier this month, Taylor revealed his training is targeted at those Championships, which begin on September 27 in Doha.

Taylor, who produced national junior record times at 100 and 400 metres last year, is steeling himself for another run at the seniors. “My main focus is to train towards that so I’m just keeping focused and see how the season progress,” he said coolly.

The slim 19 year-old missed the Olympic 4x400m squad by one place in 2016, a year after he had won the 400 metres at the World Under 18 Championships. In 2018, he clipped Akeem Bloomfield’s Jamaican junior mark of 44.93 seconds down to 44.88.

Bloomfield and Nathon Allen were the only Jamaicans to go faster in the 400m last year.

The 2018 Calabar captain opened his account with times of 10.55 and 45.82 seconds for the 100 and 400 metres, respectively, at the McKenley Wint Classic on January 19.

Taylor joins World Under 20 champions Briana Williams and Kai Chang and long jump bronze medal winner Wayne Pinnock on the road to Doha, host city of this year’s World Championships. Williams declared her intentions recently, while the revelations from Chang and Pinnock came on January 12 in Manchester. Buoyed by her World Under 20 100 and 200 metres double, Williams said, “I think about Doha every day.”

The precocious 16 year-old said last month , “I think about the Olympics, and being one of the youngest finalists there, and hoping I can be World or Olympic winner.”

Explaining why he threw with the seniors at the Fuller Memorial on January 12, Chang revealed, “my coach wants me to spend a lot of time throwing the senior weight so I can have more chance to qualify for the World Championships.”

BIGGEST THROW

Chang started the journey to his first Boys and Girls’ Championships gold medal with the biggest Class One discus throw of the season so far – 59.30 metres on January 19.

At the Fuller Memorial meet, Pinnock’s coach Jeremy Delisser included Doha in the Kingston College student-athlete’s goals for 2019.

“I mean, of course, hopefully, World Champs is in the thinking but we’ll take it stage by stage,” said coach Delisser.

Having jumped 7.99 metres, Pinnock only trailed Tajay Gayle and Ramone Bailey on the senior Jamaican performance list last year. In a fine campaign, he won at Boys Champs, the Carifta Games and the Penn Relays before placing third, behind Bailey and Gayle, at the National Championships.

He has already leapt 7.74 metres this season and has shown ­promise in the triple jump and the 110 ­metres hurdles.