Kingston College’s distance runner Kristoff Darby said that he has been receiving a lot of attention and praise following his performance in the men’s 800m open event at the at the McKenley-Wint Track and Field Classic two weeks ago. The 19-year-old clocked a personal best time of one minute, 54.13 seconds to finish second behind World Championships 4x400m relay silver medallist Javon ‘Donkey Man’ Francis. In fact, Darby led for the entire race before he was nipped on the line by the fast-finishing Francis. The former John Mills star athlete told The Gleaner that this performance has lifted his confidence ahead of next month’s ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships. “It was a very good race because it was my opening race of the season and I have been getting a lot of attention from it,” Darby said. “I ran my personal best and this was my opening meet of the season, so I was very pleased with the time.” “People are now saying that I am one of the favourites for the Class One 800m title going into Champs, and so it has really boosted my confidence … knowing that I am one of the fastest athletes for this year,” he added. Darby’s time is the second fastest this year behind Spot Valley’s Tyrese Reid, who posted one minute, 53.68 seconds on January 14. He said the run for gold at Champs is going to be very competitive but said he is confident that he will come out on top. “I want to win that 800m at Champs, so I am going very hard towards this, because I finished fourth in the event last year and I’m aiming to do much better this year,” he said. “There are a lot of dangers because I saw that Spot Valley’s Tyrese (Reid) did one minute, 53 seconds in the event. There is Leon Clarke, and he is always a good competitor, but I am a hundred per cent confident that I will win at Champs,” Darby said.