By Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis, Special to

The Boys’ class 1 100m final is the most highly anticipated event at this year’s Boys & Girls Championship because of its competitive line-up. No other event comes close in terms of the accumulated quality on show. It is not often track fans get a chance to see three athletes with personal bests all below 10.3 in one event. Jhevaughn Matherson (KC), Nigel Ellis (STETHS) and Raheem Chambers (St. Jago) are expected to bring an energy never before seen or felt inside the National Stadium on the night of Friday March 18, 2016.

Raheem Chambers is one of the finest sprinters ever seen at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys & Girls Athletics Championships popularly called ‘Champs’. Chambers’ credentials include winning and setting records at Champs in the 100m in classes 3 and 2. He currently holds the Boys’ class 2 100m record (10.29) and recently saw his National Youth Record (10.27) at 100m established at the 2014 CARIFTA Games in Martinique being lowered by Jhevaughn Matherson to 10.25 seconds. Chambers is now in his second year in class 1 and remains on course to further enhance his reputation in the archives of ‘Champs’ by achieving the rare feat of winning the 100m title in every class.  

The 18-year-old St. Jago speedster is a very humble, intelligent, friendly and purpose driven individual. He displays a level of maturity far beyond his years and has a bright future not only in athletics but also life. At times he can be like a puzzle book because he keeps people guessing about what to expect next which adds to the intrigue which surrounds him. On the track he is like a smiling assassin and underestimating or writing him off is never a wise decision. Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis had a one-on-one interview with Chambers at the recent Jamaica CARIFTA trials.

Q: What is your favourite meal?
A:”Well my favourite meal is Lasagna and I enjoy eating pork and chicken.”

Q: Who is your role model?
A: “I would have to say Usain Bolt because he’s a champion and he always show up at the big games. I would say I’m a person of that sort I always perform on the big day.”

Q: What is it that gets you pumped and ready to perform at your best?
A: “What keeps me pumped and energized in the sport is everybody is expecting great things from me so I have to just train hard and try to keep that standard.”

Q: Is this your last year at Champs?
A: “Well I can’t say because I don’t know what the future holds.”

Q: What is your target for Champs?
A: “Well my target for this year is just to win the class 1 100m and try to represent my school to the best I can.”

Q: Who is your biggest rival at Champs this year?
A: “I don’t specify anybody, all seven men in that final you would have to look at them so everybody has an equal shot.”

Q: Are you comfortable with your season opener 10.32 seconds?
A: “Well actually it’s an awesome season opener because I had a little niggle and stuff during the season and coming out here in my first race to run 10.32 that’s pretty awesome.”

Q: Most persons are always fascinated by the fact that you hardly run in the season and then come out and produce fast times when it matters most. Is this a strategy?
A: “No, well most times I always have some niggling or some sort of injury early season and that’s kind of a setback for me. However, I have the perfect management staff and coach so they get me ready at the right time.”

Q: How fast do you think you can go this season?

A: “Well I don’t like to talk about times, I just like to go out there and show what I can do.”

Q: Are you looking forward to the World Juniors this year?
A: “Well actually the World Juniors is the main plan for me this year. ‘Champs’ is coming up and I would use ‘Champs’ as a stepping stone for World Juniors. Definitely World Juniors this year.”

Q: Are you 100% healthy right now?
A: “Well I wouldn’t say 100% I’m about 85% but I will get there.”

Track fans are relishing the class 1 100m showdown at Champs and will be keeping their fingers crossed that all the athletes are healthy and fully charged to settle the debate of ‘who’s the fastest’ once and for all. This event will have your heart pounding so hard that you will feel it in your ears and when it is over you will be wondering where so many goose bumps came from on your arms.

Raheem Chambers usually explodes from the blocks like a firecracker and although the 100m final at Champs is not his ultimate goal this season he is very confident that he will not be caught.

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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