Francis says Great Britain switch will help fulfill his potential

0
542
- Advertisement -

Miguel Francis says he is more likely to fulfill his potential after switching allegiance from Antigua & Barbuda to Great Britain.
The 22-year-old sprinter, who ran the seventh fastest 200m of 2016, is eligible to compete for Britain as he was born in the British Overseas Territory, Montserrat, which doesn’t have an Olympic team.
“I think I’ll be less stressed when in a better environment, where people look after you better,” he told BBC Sport. “I do think I will perform better.”
He can compete for Britain immediately.
Francis, who is part of a Jamaica-based training group coached by Glenn Mills and led by 100m and 200m world record holder, Usain Bolt, ran a personal best of 19.88 seconds in June. Bolt’s record is 19.19, set at the 2009 World Championships.
Adam Gemili, 23, competed for Britain in the 200m at Rio 2016 and finished fourth in the final with a time of 20.12. His personal best is 19.97.
Francis was due to also compete at last summer’s Olympics, but had to withdraw with a hamstring injury suffered in training.
He started the process to transfer his allegiance in August – before Rio – but appeared unlikely to see it through after announcing an apparent U-turn in March.
Then he told the Antigua OBSERVER that “things got into my head” and “Antigua is who I want to run for”, while admitting the condition of the country’s only athletics track was a concern.
Now he insists he is more comfortable representing Britain.
“I’m running for who I am supposed to be running for,” he added.
“Before I moved to Antigua my only option was Britain, but then Antigua wanted me to run for them. I ran for them for my career, basically.”
Francis’ family fled Montserrat for Antigua following a volcanic eruption when he was six months old.
His parents have lived in Wolverhampton since 2014 and Francis has visited the area several times.
Zharnel Hughes who was born in the British overseas territory of Anguilla – and the United States-born quartet of Tiffany Porter, Cindy Ofili, Shante Little and Montene Speight — have all switched allegiance to Britain in recent years.
The switches led to criticism from several other British athletes, including former world indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty. (BBC Sport)
 

- Advertisement -

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here