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Jamaican 15 year old aims to be the next Bolt

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Jamaican 15 year old aims to be the next Bolt ST_17204416
Sprint sensation Odane Skeen hopes to follow in
Bolt's medal-winning footsteps.

Jamaican aims high
By Jonathan Wong
The Straits Times
17 August 2010

WHAT Usain Bolt did at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Odane Skeen is keen to emulate at the Youth Olympics Games.

The 15-year-old is the latest sprint sensation to emerge from the same country - Jamaica.

And just as triple-gold medallist Bolt electrified the world two years ago, Odane is hoping that he, too, will make a big impact when the athletics programme begins today at the Bishan Stadium.

'We will definitely be the one to beat,' said the St Catherine native, whose personal best (PB) of 10.46 seconds in the 100m makes him one of the favourites for the title of fastest youth Olympian at the inaugural YOG.

The six-day athletics competition, involving 646 competitors from 170 National Olympic Committees, will offer 36 gold medals, the most at the YOG. But none of the showdowns will be as keenly anticipated as the one for the boys' 100m title.

And in true Bolt fashion, Odane was sure of his own winning pedigree even after it was pointed out that Britain's David Bolarinwa, 16, boasts a faster PB of 10.39sec.

'He did what?' the Jamaican asked. But recovering as quickly as one of his explosive starts, he promised: 'It doesn't change anything, I'm still going to win.'

Added his coach David Riley: 'We expect to win medals and the kids are not going to be intimidated.'

The Jamaicans are also expected to be contenders in the 110m hurdles with Stefan Fennell, 16, displaying plenty of Odane's confidence. 'I've been saving myself for the competition here,' he said.

In the girls' events, Jamaica's medal hopes will ride on the likes of Shericka Jackson, whose 200m PB of 23.62sec is the fastest in the field, and Olivia James in the 400m.

Briton Victoria Ohuruogu, 17, younger sister of 400m Olympic champion Christine, is tipped to shine in the same event, which will also feature Nigeria's Bukola Agobunloko, the event's fastest qualifier.

Said Olivia, whose PB of 53.89sec is sandwiched between Victoria's (54.17sec) and Bukola's (52.49sec): 'There are no favourites. Anybody can win.'

While traditional powerhouses the United States lack any standout performer in the track events, the competition appears more straightforward in the jumps.

Both Swedish pole vaulter Angelica Bengtsson and Italian high jumper Alessia Trost will be looking to add a YOG gold to their impressive resumes, which include victories in the world youth and junior competitions.

Angelica said she is aiming for a new personal best. Her 4.47m best mark is just a centimetre shy of the world junior record.

Leading the Asian challenge will be Japanese sprinter Masaki Nashimoto, last year's 100m Asian Youth Games winner, while compatriot Keisuke Homma will figure prominently in the 200m.

Singapore will be represented by six athletes, including hurdlers Sean Toh (110m) and Goh Wei Ning (100m).

Said Sean: 'It's going to be tough but we're going to try our best.'



10.46 for 15!!! That's insane! He wouldn't be far away from an Aussie 4 x 100m spot! AA should get his family to immigrate!


Jamaican 15 year old aims to be the next Bolt Odane_w370
Odane Skeen of Jamaica, left, and Jirapong Meenapra of Thailand,
right, compete in the boy's 100 metres at the Youth Olympics, in
Singapore. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Race to find next Usain Bolt
Jamaican Observer
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

SINGAPORE — Britain's David Bolarinwa and Jamaica's Odane Skeen won their qualifying heats in the 100 metres at the Youth Olympics today, setting up a final between two sprinters touted as possibly the next Usain Bolt.

Bolarinwa blew away the field in his heat, finishing in 10.62 seconds. Skeen got out slowly but surged to run 10.63 and beat Thailand's Jirapong Meenapra.

The 16-year-old Bolarinwa has the fastest time this year among 16- and 17-year-olds — a 10.39 in London this month. Skeen, a 15-year-old whose lanky style has some likening him to his compatriot Bolt, ran a 10.46 in Jamaica.

"I thought 'let me go there, go hard and see if anyone can go faster,'" Bolarinwa said. "It was a good performance overall."

Skeen was less thrilled with his race, blaming his slower time on two false starts by other competitors. But he said come Saturday's final, he would win.

Bolarinwa and Skeen will face each other for the first time. Skeen was surprised to learn Bolarinwa has posted the fastest 100 this year. Marvin Bracy of the United States ran the second fastest, but is not competing at the games.

Organisers of the first Youth Olympics have emphasised participation rather than winning, but that was lost on Bolarinwa and Skeen.

Both boys seemed to relish the comparison to Bolt and their budding rivalry to that of Bolt and Tyson Gay. Told he has been compared to Bolt, Skeen just smiled and said he dreams of surpassing his idol.

"I want to be better than Bolt," said Skeen, whose goal it is to win gold at the 2012 Olympics in London.
(He's certainly ambitious!)



100m Youth Olympic Final
21st August 2010
9.10pm Singapore time

LaneName (Country) Date of Birth PB
1. Mateo Edward (Panama) 1 May 1993 10.78
2. Legani Naivalu (Fiji) 30 Jan 1993 10.85
3. Jirapong Meenapra (Thailand) 11 May 1993 10.51
4. Masaki Nashimoto (Japan) 12 Dec 1993 10.64
5. Odane Skeen (Jamaica) 28 Aug 1994 10.46
6.David Bolarinwa (Great Britain) 20 Oct 1993 10.39
7. Tinashe Mutanga (Zimbzbwe) 27 Jan 1993 10.68
8. Tahir Walsh (Antigua) 24 Feb 1994 10.76



Skeen strikes - Lands historic 100m gold at Youth Olympics
Jamaican Observer
Sunday, August 22, 2010

ODANE Skeen dashed to a personal best 10.42 seconds to snap up the 100-metre gold medal at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore yesterday.

The Wolmer's Boys' High School athlete who turns 16 on Saturday ensured his golden run with a flying start in lane five to rush to victory, trouncing Japan's Masaki Nashimoto, who ran a personal best 10.51 seconds for the silver medal.

Great Britain's national junior champion and favourite David Bolarinwa, the second to last to come out of the blocks, made up ground at the end to snatch bronze, also in 10.51 seconds.

The win by young Skeen ensured that Jamaica had held all the global men's 100m titles. These include the World Youth and World Junior (Dexter Lee); the Olympic and senior World Championships (Usain Bolt), and the Commonwealth Games (Asafa Powell).

Below is a video of Odane Skeen, in lane 8, winning his qualification heat last Thursday.

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