NASSAU, Bahamas (Sporting Alert) — Javon Francis produced yet another stunning anchor leg in guide Jamaica into the final of the men’s 4x400m at the IAAF World Relays 2015 on Saturday, but the youngster is demanding more from his teammates.
Francis, who collected the baton in fourth place and out of the automatic qualifying places, shifted gears to produce a scorching final leg split of 44.01 to take the Jamaicans into second place behind USA and through to the final in 3:02.81.
The opening two legs did Jamaica no favours and it took a solid run on the penultimate leg from high schooler Nathon Allen to recover from being in last place at the Thomas Robinson Stadium.
Francis was delighted at making the final, which is set for Sunday, but he would like to be getting the baton much closer to the leaders.
“It would be nice to get the baton closer but we got the job done, we are in the final,” Francis was quoted as telling the Jamaica Sunday Gleaner.
“I just focus on running my best and helping my team to qualify.”
The 20-year-old sprinter added: “Hopefully we will go out there and make it on the podium (Sunday).
“I will be telling my teammates to stay focused because we have a big day. I just want to get it (baton) close to the leader.”
On Sunday night at the IAAF World Relays 2015, Jamaica will start in lane seven behind Belgium in the final.
The United States, which will feature the likes of Jeremy Wariner and LaShawn Merritt in its lineup, will start as the team to beat on papers.
However, hosts and Olympic champions Bahamas, who finished second last year and fellow Caribbean neighbours Trinidad and Tobago both looked good in their heats and are expected to give the Americans a strong challenge in the battle for the gold medal.
The second edition of the IAAF World Relays 2015 concludes on Sunday and Jamaica will be eyeing a medal, in addition to qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.