Marvin Watts, the last Jamaican to compete in the men’s 800m at the World Championships, believes that the country can do well in the two-lap event. His advice to aspiring 800m men is to move to a middle-distance training programme when their highschool days are over and to stick with it. Speaking from first-hand experience, Watts pinpointed the heavier training load done by the athletes from the African middle distance superpowers as the big difference.He outlined the steps needed to make progress. “That would entail after high school,” he explained, “going into a middle-distance programme, whether locally or overseas, having the right coaches and sticking to a programme.”Watts competed in the 800m semi-finals in the 1998 Commonwealth Games, the 2000 Olympics and the 2001 World Championships. In the latter meet, the tall, slim Jamaican strode through his heat in 1 minute 46.43 seconds, a personal best that lodges him at number 10 in the Jamaican all-time 800m performance list.”It’s really tough to make it to the finals,” said the former St George’s College and University of South Carolina star. “But again, I think what I would have needed, and what other athletes would need, is to join a strategic training programme.”The programme will get you there,” he assured aspirants. “That’s how many athletes worldwide – if you speak to them, they were average runners in high school. but they stuck to a programme, which entails endurance training, stamina training, speed work and, over time, you will come down in time and you will make the grade.”In 2004, Watts participated in a four-month training camp in Kenya. Injury derailed his plans, but the experience showed him the big difference between how Jamaica approaches the 800m and how Kenya approaches the same event. “I think it was just the load; compared to what we do, it was much more intense.”He also understands why Jamaican 400m runners don’t move up to the 800m.”You might have 45-46 seconds 400m runners who can do well at the 800m, but they prefer the shorter distances of 400m or less because of the popularity of the event,” he analysed.
11 11 11 Centre-back: Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton) – Coming up against the hardworking Danny Ings and the spritely Daniel Sturridge in only his second Premier League start will have been daunting for the Argentine, who had a shaky full debut against West Brom last week. He came through excellently though, winning six aerial duels and complete four tackles as he helped the Toffees to a 1-1 draw with rivals Liverpool. 11 Left winger: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) – After an ineffectual start to the campaign, the Chilean star has burst into life. His scintillating display against Manchester United was a joy to watch as he nabbed a brace from just three shots on goal. He also made four tackles to help his team keep out the Red Devils. Central midfield: Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace) – The classy French playmaker is a superb all-round footballer. Known for his passing, Cabayes distribution was excellent once again as he claimed an assist, but its now his defensive side that is impressing too. He made four tackles to halt West Broms forays forward and helped his team claim a clean sheet. 11 Centre-back: Per Mertesacker (Arsenal) – The Big F****** German had a Big F****** Problem on his hands going up against Anthony Martial on Sunday, but he came through with flying colours. The 31-year-old used all his experience to marshal the teen star and finished the game with clean sheet. Easy. Striker: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) – We dont really need to say too much here. The Argentines five goals in 20 minutes were sheer brilliance. 11 Central midfield: James McCarthy (Everton) – Another player who was superb defensively at the weekend was the Toffees Irish star. He broke up play at Goodison Park with considerable ease and with showed hes not just a destroyer with some fine, and accurate, passing too. Right winger: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – The Premier League has a new baby-faced assassin. The Belgian has got three goals and two assists in his four Premier League appearances so far. His display against Newcastle was marvellous and, while Raheem Sterling struggles to make an impact, proves Manuel Pellegrini does know how to spend big money correctly. Goalkeeper: Heurelho Gomes (Watford) – He might have had his critics in the past but the Brazilian shot-stopper has been in great form for the Hornets this season. The Octopus long limbs helped him keep out Glenn Murrays penalty, while also making five other saves to deny Bournemouth, ensuring Watford claimed a share of the spoils. 11 11 Left-back: Christian Fuchs (Leicester City) – The Austrian star made his first Premier League start of the campaign against Norwich City and put on a good display. His appearance also allowed the talented Jeffrey Schlupp to push forward, resulting in a goal for the Ghanaian. Right-back: Hector Bellerin (Arsenal) – A modern full-back if ever there was one. Able to charge upfield and assist his team-mates when Arsenal are on the attack and impressive defensively too, Bellerin is establishing himself as on of the best right-backs in the Premier League. He was a real threat against Manchester United and completely upstaged their summer signing Matteo Darmian too. 11 11 11 It was another weekend full of goals, excitement, and shocks in the Premier League.We’ve had the first managerial departures of the season with Dick Advocaat and Brendan Rodgers leaving Sunderland and Liverpool respectively.Manchester City are back at the top of the table after an astonishing 6-1 win over Newcastle, while rivals Man United drop down after being beaten comprehensively by Arsenal.But who were the outstanding performers in a thrilling two days of action?Click the right arrow above to find out who makes talkSPORT’s team of the weekend… Attacking midfield: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham) – The deadliest free-kick taker the Premier League has to offer. His double against Swansea saved Spurs from a Europa League hangover. The Dane needed to be on form too with attacking team-mates Nacer Chadli, Erik Lamela and Harry Kane all struggling to make an impact.