Grenadian Kirani James created history on Sunday’s final day of the 6th IAAF World Youth Championships here at the Sports Arena.
The tall lanky 16-year-old from the Spice Island of Grenada in the eastern Caribbean became the first youth to win a 200/400m double.
He completed the double by taking the 200m in a season best 21.05 to add to his 45.24 Championship record run in the 400m.
James joined Great Britain’s Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, who won the sprint double (10.35) and 20.91) in 2005, as sprints double champions. In the girls' events, Jodie Williams had secured the shorter 100/200 sprint double previously in the afternoon.
He expressed delight with his achievements. “I am feeling good, I’m elated,” he said.
He was not expected to win the 200m, but according to him, it was his hard work throughout the season, which brought this success.
“I am a little surprised, but kind of disappointed with my time. The 200m was more competitive, but I am very happy I pulled through,” he continued.
Unlike several other youth stars, James is not making any predictions about his feature.
“I am still a junior, will be a junior for the next two years, so right now I am just competing with the juniors”.
“I am just taking it one day at a time ... my next target is the Pan Am Junior Championships later this month in Trinidad & Tobago, then I will start looking ahead to next year’s World Junior Championships,” explained James, who heads to University in United States next month.
Albert Joseph, who is James’ coach at Grenada Boys’ Secondary School, said his athlete has a bright feature.
“We are looking forward to 2010 Olympics in London,” said Joseph, who described James as someone who is “very dedicated to his training”
Now with the World Youths over, James said it’s time to meet more friends. “I am enjoying myself, it’s good here, I met a lot of friends, but mostly athletes from the other Caribbean countries.
“After the closing ceremony, I am hoping to make more international friends,” he added.
Anthony Foster for the IAAF