As the news about the fastest woman alive possibly leaving her MVP training camp and a subsequent denial, Coach Stephen Francis reported he may be training an American sprinter.
In a news report in the Jamaica Gleaner Coach Stephen Francis said “He has been approached by Nike to condition an international athlete”.
The news sent shock waves across the Caribbean as speculations are that “The American Nike Athlete” could possibly be the exuberant last place Diamond League runner Sha’Carri Richardson. Nike has been using her as part of their campaigns even with her out of form finish to promote their products.
Francis told the Sunday Gleaner, “I am a Nike coach and…Nike considers me to be their best performing coach and they want as many Nike athletes as they can to get into my training situation.”
Stephen Francis has trained ShellyAnn Fraser Pryce, three time sprint world record breaker Asafa Powell and Elaine Thompson Herah to become world class in their events.
Despite Jamaica’s relatively small population the country continues to excel in athletics due in large part to the coaching institutions and quality of coaches that stay in the country. In the last 90 years, Jamaica has won 42 commonwealth Gold medals, 14 World Championship gold and 17 Olympic gold medals in athletics alone.
Francis said over the years the requests have come but now it seems more imminent.
“Over the years because we have always had success, we won four Olympic gold medals in a row and a pile of World Championships (gold medals), so because athletes like those have been present here, we have been able to tell Nike that look, there are a lot of excuses we can give, we canto really get anybody else here but at this point in time, as far as we know, we will have one of those people (international athletes).”
Francis further stated that due to his camp’s relationship with Nike, they have been under pressure to bring the “international athlete” into his Jamaica MVP camp.
“What I can say is that we are under some amount of pressure to get other Nike athletes.” he said.
Sha’Carri Richardson erratically exclaimed äfter losing her much hyped about comeback race at the Diamond League in Oregon said in her post race interview, “This is one race, I am not done you know what I am capable of”
Meanwhile Usain Bolt sought to clarify his point about Jamaican female athletes needing more personality recently in an interview with Anthony Miller.
The Retired Puma Athlete turn producer said, “ Sha’Carri has a personality, this is why people are drawn to her because of her personality and who she is…because track and field is not the biggest sports in the world. If you have a personality you will stand out.”
He however doubled down on his wise advice, “When it comes to competition some of the times it’s good to just train hard and come out there and show what you can do instead of just saying what you are going to do and then don’t turn up.”
He further said “I’ve always said too Shelly you are so nice so wonderful why you don’t show the people who you are as a person, but she is very shy…I was showing NJ the other day that Elaine Thompson actually joined TikTok now and when you start showing people your personality people want to be around you now and say “OMG you are so nice”…people love that I was the fastest man in the world but they love my personality even more.”
As far as calling Sha’Carri personally to give her advice he said, “I don’t know her, I was just asked a quest and I answered to the best of my ability…I was saying maybe talk less and work harder and when you get to that level you can say all you want to say cause you have proven that it can be done and you can do it.”