Coach Stephen Francis Expects “Great Performances” by Jamaica Sprinters at 2024 Olympics, Talks Injuries and More – Watch Interview

Thursday, June 20, 2024, 11:32 AM GMT-5

Famed Jamaican coach Steven Francis discussed his track club’s chances at the upcoming National Trials, the Olympics, and mastering the treatment of injured athletes during an interview released on Tuesday.

Speaking with SportMax TV about the upcoming National Trials, Francis said that he is expecting very good performances from his athletes and is hopeful that the surprises they have in store will all be positive.

Francis co-founded the MVP (Maximising Velocity and Power) track and field club in 1999 and has since overseen the coaching of Olympic champions such as Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

While he expressed that he prefers not to guess what the outcome may be, the coach shared his confidence in his current crop of athletes. In comparison with previous groups of female MVP athletes competing in the 100m, including his 2016 group featuring Fraser-Pryce and Thompson-Herah, Francis said his current lineup is his best.

“We keep a lot of data, so we have data available back to 2003 [ … ] so based on that, we can say that these are an exceptional group of about eight people. Eight women I think we have who are really, really good,” Francis stated.

As the performance of several highly ranked Jamaican athletes continues to be affected by injuries, Francis shared his thoughts on sports medicine in Jamaica. The former Wolmer’s Boys track coach expressed that Jamaica lacks the specialists needed for injured athletes, such as in the United States, and their experience is also far less.

As such, Francis said MVP has invested immense resources over the years to create the proper facilities and acquire rehab equipment to facilitate a speedy recovery. He also highlighted the importance of knowing when to pull athletes back and said that MVP has mastered handling athlete injuries and recovery.

“We have mastered that part, and along with the staff that we have here and the equipment that they use, I think we are able to make it through this almost every year. And a lot of people don’t understand until they leave how good it is that they have it here,” Francis said.

Under the watchful eye of Francis, Thompson-Herah secured her Olympic sprint double. Though she was coming off of injury-plagued 2017–2019 seasons, the sprinter successfully defended her 100m and 200m titles at the 2020 Games while with MVP.

After leaving the club in 2021, Thompson-Herah has struggled to return to her winning form over the past few years as she continues to suffer from a long-standing Achilles injury.

Watch the interview below:

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