Javon Francis at Rio 2016 Olympic Games

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaican star quarter-miler Javon Francis opened his 2017 campaign with a heat-winning performance in the men’s 800m at the McKenley Wint Classic hosted at Calabar High School on Saturday (21).

Francis, who anchored Jamaica to a silver medal in the men’s 4x400m at last year’s Rio Olympic Games in Brazil, clocked 1:54.08 to win the second of the two men’s 800m races.

However, the Akan Track Club representative finished second overall in the event after Ricardo Cunningham of Vision Track Club posted a time of 1:52.73 to win the first heat.

Schoolboy Kristoff Darby of Kingston College was second behind Francis in 1:54.13.

Other notable quarter-milers moving up to run the 800m at the meet were Peter Matthews of Akan, who finished third in Heat 1 and fifth overall in 1:54.47, while Martin Manley of Cameron Blazers was third behind Francis in Heat 2 and 7th overall in 1:57.17.

Javon Francis, who owns a personal best of 44.50 seconds over the 400m, finished fifth in his semi-finals at Rio 2016 last summer in a disappointing 44.96.

He is targeting a spot in the 400m final at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London in August.

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