National overseas-based sprinter, Miguel Francis, said the 19.76 seconds he posted in the 200 meters of the National Track & Field Championships last Sunday, did not come as a total surprise.
The athlete, who turned 20 in March of this year, said he has been working towards breaking the sub-20 barrier since he started training alongside Usain Bolt in Jamaica.
“It wasn’t really looking like it would have happened when I first started but we have been doing a lot of long distance work and not sprinting but since I’ve started sprinting now, that has really been the aim, to get down under 19 seconds,” he said.
“I think I could have but I was focusing on the clock when I was running the last100 meters and that slows you down because you are not focused on your running technique so in my next run I wouldn’t really focus on the clock because I have done it once and I feel like I can do it again,” the young sprinter added.
Francis finished ahead of Kasheem Colbourne and Raphael McCoy who clocked 21:38 and 21:97 respectively to finish second and third at the National Championships.
The athlete’s time, however, will not be recognised by the IAAF as the feat was accomplished on an uncertified surface.
Francis has urged those in authority to make preparations to have the track brought up to speed.
“Because of that now, there is a lot of criticism going on really so all I have to do is just go out and do another sub-20 again. The track basically just needs resurfacing; just a new surface on the track and just have an official, somebody to certify the track to just come out and certify it,” he said.
Francis is slated to represent Antigua & Barbuda at the Pan American Games slated for July 10-26 July in Toronto.
The country’s 4 x 1 relay team will also compete at the Pan Am Games. The team comprises Daniel “Bakka” Bailey, Miguel Francis, Chevaughn Walsh and Cejhae Greene with alternates Jahred Jarvis and Tahir Walsh.
Also qualifies is high-jumper Priscilla Frederick, Afia Charles (400 meters) and Amey Harris-Willock (long jump).
Shot-putter Jess St John and 400 meters specialist Samantha Edwards are slated to enter the Games as the country’s two wildcard participants.