Boldon excited by Champs sprints
Ato Boldon, coach of double World Under-20 100m and 200m champion Briana Williams, absolutely loved the quality of the sprinting at the recently concluded ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships.
Boldon describes 14-year-old Tina Clayton’s stunning Class Three 100m time as mind-blowing. In addition, he thinks Williams, Kevona Davis, and Ashanti Moore could all be in the women’s 100 metre final at the National Senior Championships in June.
“You hear the words ‘sprint factory’ all the time. You hear the term and you think, ‘Yeah, but you know, how can they keep it going?’”, Boldon said at trackside during the Carifta Trials yesterday. “Every single year, the bar gets raised.”
Asked about the quality of the sprinting at Champs, he pinpointed, “I know there were a lot of great performances, but for me, what Tina Clayton did was my performance of Champs.”
As a four-time individual Olympic sprint medal winner, he demurred, “I know I’m partial to the sprints, but it’s just mind-blowing”, in reference to Clayton’s winning time of 11.27 seconds. “Somebody that age is not supposed to have that kind of command of the drive phase, the middle, just amazing.”
He had his eye on Davis, Moore, and Calabar’s Class One 100 metre winner Oblique Seville.
Reflecting on Davis and her 11.19 seconds display in the Class Two 100m final, Boldon analysed, “Kevona is starting to figure out her mechanics, and all credit to coach (Michael) Dyke with that because yes, she’s big and powerful, but big and powerful doesn’t necessarily win.”
Her form and a big run by Moore in the Class One final confirmed a prediction he made to Williams just after she won her World Under-20 double last year in Tampere, Finland.
“If you think that the rest of Jamaica is going to stand by and watch you as sort of the junior one run these types of things, I would expect a whole bunch of people to be running 11.1 next year, and so said, so done,” he recalled of the conversation he had with his gifted charge.
Speaking of Moore, he advised, “As a coach, you’re like, yeah, that’s somebody that has to be taken very seriously.”
Looking ahead to the National Senior Championships, Boldon envisages Moore and the other youngsters making a lot of noise against their more senior rivals. “She (Moore) has the pedigree, and quite frankly, she has the size, but the fan in me goes, wow, this could be a really, really exciting year, and I expect, that Ashanti and Briana and Kevona have a good chance to be in that final eight when we are back here June 21.”
He called Seville’s winning run in the Class One 100m – 10.13 seconds – impressive and posited that Champs creates an atmosphere for excellence.
“I look at an environment where you have the hunger, the history, and all the potential in the world, and then Champs, you just water it and just wait for the stuff to bloom,” the 1997 World 200 metres champion beamed.