WASHINGTON – Usain Bolt’s status as the world’s fastest man is not only under assault by Justin Gatlin this year — an American teenager is also proving to be a threat.
Bolt’s indifferent season so far — the Jamaican sprinter’s best time in the 100 meters is 10.12 seconds — was put into stark perspective when 19-year-old college student Trayvon Bromell ran 9.84s at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Oregon on Thursday.
It equaled the second-fastest 100m effort of 2015, alongside Jamaican veteran Asafa Powell, and was just 0.1s slower than Gatlin’s leading mark of 9.74.
“I’m really surprised by my time because when I slowed it down, I didn’t think I was going to run that fast,” Bromell told the USATF website. “This is crazy. I wasn’t planning on running that fast in prelims.”
Bromell’s effort puts him fourth on the U.S. list of all-time fastest performers, behind Tyson Gay, Gatlin and Maurice Greene — and the 10th fastest in athletics history. Bolt still leads the way on the 9.58s he set at the 2009 world championships.
A second-year student at Baylor University, Bromell also became the first junior to run a sub-10s 100m.
Bromell’s time was the second-fastest of the qualifying heats behind 22-year-old Remontay McClain, who ran a wind-assisted 9.82s.
“It’s all about having a championship mindset,” added Bromell, who was unable to defend his NCAA outdoor title earlier this month, finishing second. “You have to understand that you can’t win them all. God has a plan for everybody.
“Maybe it wasn’t His plan for me to win NCAAs, but maybe it was for me to come out and make the world championship team. It all happens for a reason.”
Bolt pulled out of this week’s Jamaican trials, but the six-time Olympic gold medalist is due to run at the Diamond League meeting in Paris a week on Saturday before competing at Lausanne five days later.
He has already qualified for August’s world championships in Beijing, where he will defend his 100m and 200m titles.
Bromell is not the only U.S teenager breaking records.
Sixteen-year-old Candace Hill became the first high school girl to break the 11-second barrier in the 100m with a time of 10.98 at the Brooks PR Invitational last weekend. – CNN