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Teen sprinter Sani Brown named to Japan squad for world championships

Kyodo

The 16-year-old sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown has been added to the Japan team for the upcoming IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing, becoming the youngest ever to represent the country, the Japan Association of Athletics Federations said on Tuesday.

Sani Brown claimed two gold medals in the World Youth Championships in Colombia last month, clocking 10.28 seconds in the men’s 100 meters and 20.34 in the 200 in Santiago de Cali. Both were his personal bests and new meet records, the latter of which was previously held by Usain Bolt since 2003.

“With the chance I have now, I’d like to go toe-to-toe with the top-class sprinters across the world,” said the youngster, surprised with his meteoric rise himself. “I’ve only been doing the same thing as I was a year ago.”

Born in Fukuoka to Ghanian father and Japanese mother, the second-grade student at Josai High School in Tokyo stands 187 cm and dreams of breaking world records.

“He shows his potential the tougher the oppositions get. He’s different in competitions and always surpasses our expectations,” said his high school coach Takahiko Yamamura on the rough-cut youngster with a long stride.

Sani Brown heads to Beijing at the age of 16 years and 7 months, five months younger than Megumi Sato who attended the 1983 meet in Helsinki for the women’s high jump, and is set to compete in the 200 as well as in the 400-meter relay.

He was second in the men’s 100 in an inter-highschool meet on Thursday, logging 10.30 for behind Kenta Oshima’s 10.29, and won the 200 on 20.82 on Saturday.

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