HomeNewsLittle grateful for JOA assistance for fast-rising James-King

Little grateful for JOA assistance for fast-rising James-King

Gregory Little, coach of national senior runner Malik James-King, has described the last couple of weeks as the best in the young athlete’s career after Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) announced that he will be part of a five-athlete scholarship programme worth $6 million, in aid of his preparations for the Olympic Games in Paris.

JOA President Christopher Samuda announced during the organisation’s Olympic Games campaign launch, held at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston on Thursday, that this money will go towards the athletes’ qualification efforts. The other athletes set to benefit are Shaneika Ricketts, Christoff Bryan, Samantha Hall, and Nyoka Clunis.

James-King, 24, has been in good form, clocking a massive lifetime best of 48.39 seconds to win the men’s 400m hurdles event at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational meet on May 11. He erased his previous best time of 49.66 en route to defeating Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands, the 2023 World Championships silver medallist in the event. McMaster finished with a time of 49.00, while third place went to James-King’s compatriot Jaheel Hydel in 49.48.

Little, who is the head coach of Titans Track Club, noted that he is grateful to the JOA for this support, as it will help the young athlete with his preparations for the National Senior Championships next month as he looks to book his place at the Olympic Games.

“JOA is doing something great for the athletes and I really appreciate what they are doing because these athletes need all the support that they can get in their preparations for the Paris Olympic Games,” said Little.

“I think this support is really a major confidence booster for him and hopefully this will help to motivate him a lot more so that things can be much easier for him going forward regarding his preparations for the Olympic Games this year,” he added.

“There is a lot of burden on him financially, and so this will be a push for him and it will also take some pressure off his manager as well. So this is really a great push for Malik,” Little said.

Little highlighted that he is not surprised by James-King’s good early-season form because he has been working assiduously in training to improve himself. He believes there is still a lot more to come from the former Calabar standout athlete.

“He is putting in the work and the results are showing. It recently showed at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational where he ran a big personal best time. This support will enhance him a lot and hopefully, he can stay positive and get over the National Trials and then the Olympic Games this summer,” Little said.

“Malik is very talented and you just have to understand the athlete’s body to get the best out of them. That is what I did with him, and so the results are showing. We are just going to continue working hard throughout the rest of the season,” Little shared.

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