Abdul Hakim Sani Brown at the IAAF World Youth Championships, Cali 2015 (© Getty Images)
Just 15 minutes after Candace Hill completed the girls’ 100m and 200m double, Abdul Hakim Sani Brown matched the feat at the IAAF World Championships, Cali 2015 with a breath-taking performance of almost equal magnitude on Sunday afternoon (19).
In winning gold, the Japanese sprinter secured the first boys' 100m/200m sprint double at these championships for 10 years and lowered Usain Bolt’s championship record by 0.06, posting a dazzling time of 20.34.
He is clearly a talent to cherish.
In the highest quality boys' 200m in the history of the championships, six of the field posted personal best times including the minor medallists Kyle Appel of South Africa (20.57) and Josephus Lyles (20.74), the latter adding to the silver medal he had won earlier in the championships over 400m.
Moments before the race, Sani Brown pointed skywards as a hush of anticipation descended on the Pascual Guerrero Stadum on the final day of action.
Drawn in lane six, the 16-year-old Tokyo schoolboy had his main rivals to his inside and he made a solid start establishing a good early rhythm.
Cuba’s Edel Rogelio Amores in the outside lane eight was also prominent in the first half of the race with Lyles and Appel in contention as well.
Entering the home straight it was advantage Sani Brown, yet the sheer quality of the field ensured that this would be no soft gold medal success for the man who had grabbed the championship record in the 100m on the opening night
Complete with snazzy green-rimmed sunglasses, Sani Brown was made to work hard but always kept at least two metres clear of his rivals as Appel – who was disqualified from the semi-finals of the 100m for false-starting – started to emerge as the Japanese athlete’s chief challenger.
Yet Sani Brown proved once again the golden boy.
His time of 20.34 not only surpassed Bolt’s championship record but he catapulted himself to number two – behind Bolt – on the world youth all-time list.
Appel also executed a great race to win silver and climb to joint eighth on the world youth all-time list, while Lyles will look back on a job well done here in Cali.
Derick Silva of Brazil, the silver medallist in the 100m, grabbed fourth in a personal best of 20.85 – just 0.01 ahead of Appel’s countryman Tlotliso Gift Leotlela.
Sani Brown may have been one of the stars of these ninth IAAF World Youth Championships but his intention is that Colombia is only the beginning of his story.
“Two times gold in Cali is what I expected,” he said confidently. “I want to do so much more, win Olympic gold and set the world record and Cali was a big step to do that.”
The world will now be watching the next chapter of his story.
Steve Landells for the IAAF