KINGSTON, Jamaica – 2013 World Championships 4×400 meter silver medal anchor, Javon Francis seems poised to dip below the 45 second barrier when he competes in the 400 meter at the Jamaica International Invitational Meet inside the National Stadium today (Saturday, May 9). Francis’ current season’s best stands at 45.50 but could be significantly improved at this weekend’s meeting given the young quarter-miler’s recent performance at the IAAF World Relays, splitting 44.01 and 44.00 respectively in the preliminary and final, of the 4X400 meter relays. 

Francis will face a stern test, competing against a quality field in the men’s 400 meter flat which will include Olympic champion Lashawn Merritt of the United States. Francis has faced off against Merritt on anchor legs of high profile relay finals, including the 2013 World Championships and the just concluded IAAF World Relays. With Merritt and other world class 400 meter runners in the line-up, the combative Francis could very well deliver his best in the 400 meter showcase slated for 9:25 pm. 

“This is what I have always wanted. To compete against the best and with the line-up in this particular race I think I have the perfect opportunity to go out there and match myself against them. I have said in the past that guys like Merritt and Kirani James have set a standard and that is the level I would like to get to and even surpass, so this will be a great test for me and one I am looking forward to,” said Francis.

Competitive clashes are also expected in the men’s sprint relays, with Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment set to compete. The sprints are also looking to be blockbuster events with the US pair of Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey set to challenge Jamaica’s; Nesta Carter, Nickel Ashmeade and Kemar Bailey-Cole. 

Other top athletes down for the meet are Jamaica's Olympic gold medallist, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Commonwealth 400-metre hurdles champion Kaliese Spencer; and American stars Allyson Felix, Francena McCorory, and Jamaica-born Sanya Richards-Ross.


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