By Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis, Special to

Every year, at ‘Champs’, spectators are drawn like ants to a picnic to one or two events that would have caused raging debates throughout the season. These mini-battles are fascinating at all levels causing anxiety, doubt, excitement and sometimes disappointment.

This year is no different and one of the most mouth-watering clashes at 'Champs' this year is the Girls' class 1 400m final. It brings together two outstanding athletes at different phases of their high school track careers. The versatile and outstanding Junelle Bromfield from STETHS is a first year entrant whilst Ashley Williams of Holmwood Technical will be competing at her last 'Champs'. What makes this event a must-see is the fact that both athletes have a never-say-die attitude and hate to lose. Both athletes are the only schoolgirls to have gone below 53 seconds this season.

Bromfield has had a stellar career so far at 'Champs' dominating middle distance events in every class. In the last year or two she has come down to the 400m and 400m hurdles and the rest is history. Bromfield won the Under-18 400m hurdles at the 2015 CARIFTA Games and went on to win two gold medals at the Commonwealth Youth Olympics in Samoa in the 400m and 400m hurdles. She has a personal best of 52.43 seconds in the 400m which she registered at the 2015 Western Champs in Montego Bay. 

Ashley Williams of Holmwood Technical is a combative and confident athlete. She has said repeatedly that her aim is to win 4 gold medals in her farewell performance at 'Champs', that is, gold in the 200m, 400m, 4x100m and 4x400m. She is known as the Jamaican ‘Allyson Felix’ because of her similarities in looks and chosen events. She has been in tremendous form this season clocking personal best times in the 400m of 52.72 seconds and 23.83 seconds over 200m. She was 3rd in last year's 400m final behind Dawnalee Loney (Camperdown) and Tiffany James (Papine) and believes the title his hers for the taking this year.

Williams was one of the star performers at the recent Gibson McCook Relays running two unforgettable anchor legs in the 4x200m and 4x400m relays. Many persons are still talking about her face-off with Bromfield on the final lap of the 4x400m open which brought the crowd to its feet. Both athletes matched wits, strength and speed over the first 300m before Williams got the better of Bromfield with a devastating kick in the home-straight. 

Both athletes have something to prove at 'Champs' which is fantastic news for the spectators. It is almost a certainty that the winner will run a personal best if conditions are ideal. This is without doubt one of the must-see races of the Championship.

Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis is a very exciting and creative freelance sports writer specializing in the fields of athletics and cricket. His colourful down to earth yet professional personality makes him a favourite amongst athletes and fans. Readers are often exposed to his detailed knowledge and passion which usually increase their interest in the athletes, events and the sport overall. He has a first degree in Banking & Finance and works in the financial industry. Contact Noel at [email protected]


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