Fitter and Faster – Francis ready for 2016

first_imgJamaica’s 400m champion Javon Francis feels he is at his strongest and fastest this year as he hopes to challenge for a medal at the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil this summer.The 21-year-old quarter-miler opened his season on January 23, with a 46.19 run at the inaugural McKenley/Wint Track and Field Classic at his alma mater Calabar High School in Kingston, cruising home well ahead of the chasing pack.”It was the first time I had opened up so fast, usually I open at the Camperdown Classic (held in February) so I am very pleased with my time,” said Francis, who believes he is now stronger than he was last season when he ran a personal best 44.50.After winning the national championships later that month in 44.70, expectations were high that Francis would have been among the medal contenders at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China. He was, however, eliminated in the semi-finals having run 44.77 to be 12th fastest overall. He qualified for the semi-finals with a creditable run of 44.83.Despite some disappointment from his fans, Francis was quite pleased with his performance.At the national championships Francis suffered a groin injury during the 400m finals, and it prevented him from training for three to four weeks. He managed to get fit in time for Beijing, but he was not back at his best.”I never expected to run very fast because I was coming off an injury, so I was very pleased with my performance although I didn’t get a medal, but I benefited from the experience,” said the runner, who would later lead Jamaica to a fourth-place finish in the mile relay with a blistering 43.5-second anchor leg.”Last year people were saying I could go for the national record, but in my mind I always say records come and records go. Every time I go out to perform I go to win a medal,” Francis said.last_img read more

Farmers to Get 50,000 Blue Mountain Coffee Seedlings

first_imgOver 50,000 blue mountain coffee seedlings (tipica) are to be distributed to farmers in East Rural St. Andrew, under a joint project with the Embassy of Japan called the Enhancement of Production of Blue Mountain Coffee.This was disclosed by Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew and wife of the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, during her contribution to the 2017/18 Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives on November 7.“We want to ensure that we have the best coffee and we maintain it and the tipica variety is the best there is, so we want to expand that. Our goal is to increase productivity,” Mrs. Holness said.In addition, the Member of Parliament said for the first time, the constituency will launch its inaugural coffee industry symposium, which is aimed at engaging all stakeholders, including adjoining coffee-producing constituencies.“We are coming together to ensure that we preserve and protect the Jamaican coffee industry. We will explore methods of increasing the productivity of farmers, as well as exposing them to business opportunities and concepts, while we remind them that coffee prices are not set by the Government, but are influenced totally by supply and demand,” Mrs. Holness explained.Meanwhile, Mrs. Holness thanked the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries for its programme, where registered coffee farmers are to benefit from an $80 million initiative that is expected to improve and increase their yields over time.The project will focus on training; the purchase of inputs, such as fertilisers and fungicides, and tools.last_img read more