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Christopher Taylor a Young Man in a Hurry

Fans of T&F with a keen interest in the exploits of Christopher Taylor of Calabar High School, would have noted that he competed at the Youngster Goldsmith Meet in Kingston Jamaica on Saturday February 6, 2016 and won his 400m race in 47.18 seconds. A good schoolboy time for early February. The only schoolboy 400m time run faster in Jamaica for 2016 is the 46.99 seconds by the said Christopher Taylor on the new track at Calabar for the inaugural McKenley-Wint Classic on January 27, 2016.

T&F fans have come to realise that whenever Christopher Taylor is running we should be on the lookout for something exceptional. In March 2014 the then fourteen year old Christopher Taylor, born on October 1, 1999,produced a Jamaican age-group, Class 3 (under 14years old before September 1 of the year) record of 48.03 for the 400m at Champs. This led some usually sedate fans of T&F to experience feelings of rapture while others inclined to disbelief, mainly because the year before the gifted Nicholas Bann had succeeded, where others had failed for decades, in lowering the record under 50 seconds. The following year in July 2015, the slightly-built Christopher Taylor continued his extraordinary exploits, witha gold medal and an under 18 age-group record in the 400m of 45.27seconds at the 9th IAAF World Youth Championships at the Pascual Guerrero Stadium in Cali, Colombia.

vOnly a brave track fan would attempt to predict what this latest sensation from the Red Hills Road institution will do in the 400m during 2016. Champs 2016 is Tuesday to Saturday, March 15 to 19. At Champs 2015, he found some time to win the Class 2 200m with a semi-final time of 20.97seconds.The record is 20.89 and since he is very likely to run the 200m at Champs 2016 (his second and final year of Class 2 eligibility) it is a record which has beenon extended life support. His 200m times in warm-up races before Champs 2016 will provide a good clue about his intentions for the 400m.

A second, more difficult clue,for those with an eye for detail,will be his 200m semi-final time on Champs Thursday. In 2015 his 200m semi-final time on Champs Thursday was faster than his winning time of 21.04 seconds in the final on Champs Saturday.What is the significance of Champs Thursday you may be wondering. The answer is all about scheduling. At Champs, the 200m finalson Champs Saturday are preceded by the 400m finals with a recovery period of abouttwo hours for athletes who do both events. Athletes who do both 200m and 400m events and are capable of setting records, will try to do so in the semi-final of the 200m on Champs Thursday and the final of the 400m on Champs Saturday. For those athletes brave enough to attempt recovery from the 400m two hours before, the 200m on Champs Saturday is usually a tough, strategic race and it is likely to be their last individual event.

A third clue could be the time he puts down on the National Stadium track in Grenada at the Easter Carifta Games. As noted above only a braveT&F fan would attempt to predict what Christopher Taylor will do in the 400m during 2016. For a brief moment my crystal ballshowed a fleeting image of this sixteen year old finishing the first leg of the Jamaican team’s 4x400m in pole position, at the Engenhao in Rio de Janeiro this August.If Christopher Taylor runs 20.70 seconds or lower on Champs Thursday there may be no need for a crystal ball.

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