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(SNO) — As he approaches his 18th birthday, Reuben Nichols is rounding into shape for Kingston College (KC) and hopefully the Saint Lucia national team.
Nichols has been a student at KC in Jamaica since January 2018, but due to the timing of his enrolment, he was unable to compete at Boys and Girls Champs last year.
Coming into a much-anticipated 2019 season, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines-born teenager was hampered by a hamstring strain.
But in recent weeks, he has shaken off the injury bug, and demonstrated his readiness for his Champs debut.
After running a hand-timed 48.28 in the Class 1 boys 400m last weekend at the Queens Grace Jackson Invitational, Saint Lucia’s World Under-18 semifinalist was back in action for KC this Saturday. This time, he contested the Youngster Goldsmith National Athletics Classics at the National Stadium.
For the second week in a row, Nichols won his heat comfortably, clocking 48.14 seconds. That placed him third overall, with World U18 champion Antonio Watson of Petersfield stopping the clock at 47.59, and Calabar’s Kimar Farquharson ending in 48.00 seconds.
Nichols’ fellow Saint Lucian and KC teammate Tyrese Paul came in at 51.16, 45th overall.
Interviewed afterwards, Nichols acknowledged that he hopes to drop his times substantially this season, though he was coy about giving specific targets.
He will definitely need to improve on his personal-best 48.01 seconds if he is to make an impression when he finally goes head to head against the likes of Watson, Farquharson, and Christopher Taylor, either for KC or in a Saint Lucia uniform.