Usain Bolt’s title of the world’s fastest man may be under threat from an American college student.
After becoming the first junior athlete to break the 10-second barrier, Trayvon Bromell has faced constant comparisons to the Jamaican track legend.
At just 20, he is currently the fourth fastest American of all time… and the 10th fastest man in history.
The student, who was in Manchester to start his season at the Great CityGames, said that being labelled as the next Bolt is not necessarily a bad thing.
“It’s cool to hear people saying that because they actually see the talent that I have,” Bromell told MM.
“They’re acknowledging that I am a fast runner and that makes me feel good, even though I am not him physically, they are saying I could be just as great as him.
“It shows they are looking at me and I’m not just another number out there running.”
Starting his road to Rio on Deansgate, the sprinter beat Team GB athletes CJ Ujah and Richard Kilty at the Great CityGames – but could not pass 40-year-old Kim Collins.
Even after a loss to a runner twice his age, Bromell was vocal about his enthusiasm for the set up in Manchester.
“I feel like this (Great CityGames) should be an event in the US,” he said.
Couldn’t get my knees up for nothing.. Love track and field , never know what can happen. Great race though
— IamTrayvonBromell (@TrayvonBromell) May 20, 2016
“The crowd can shake your hand, in a stadium everyone is so distant.
“You have the directors and others trying to get you off the track already and you can’t really interact with the crowd how you want to – so I feel this kind of track meet should be held all over.”
With two senior world medals to his name, Bromell now hopes to be a podium contender for his country at his first Olympic games.
Still coached at his university, a private Baptist school in Waco, Texas, Bromell said that he has been calling up the veterans of American sprinting for advice.
“I pretty much talk to all the guys on the USA team, even the old heads like Maurice Greene and Michael Johnson,” he said.
“I reach out to Justin (Gatlin), and Wallace (Spearmon) is probably like my big brother, they help me out a lot.”
Despite the comparisons in the press, Bolt still firmly leads the game with the 9.58s he set at the 2009 world championships.
In fact, Bromell said that although he and the Bolt have not talked yet – he does have a few questions for him.
“If I was to reach out to Bolt I would ask ‘how do you stay so focused?’ or ‘how do you not worry when it comes to big meets?’
“These guys don’t mind helping out because they want to see track and field blossom.
“Usain is always relaxed and the one thing I did learn from him, that a lot of people don’t take, is that he has fun with the sport.
“He never goes into a race like ‘ah, crap’, he’s like ‘man this is fun’.
— IamTrayvonBromell (@TrayvonBromell) May 21, 2016
“He was born to do it and that’s the same way that I look at it.
“I was born to run and I have fun with it, I love the sport and nothing can change that.”
You can catch Bromell in action at the June 5 Diamond League meet in Birmingham as he warms up for the highly-competitive USA Olympic trials in July.
Image courtesy of BaylorAthletics, via YouTube, with thanks.