Inspired by Bolt of lightning

Jamaica’s world class sprinting
production line was evident at the CARIFTA Games. For an island of only three
million it is incredible that so many world beaters come through. The US is
literally 100 times bigger yet has been left in Jamaica’s wake.

One to watch for the future is Jamaican
silver medallists at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on Monday Omar Graham.

Not 16 until the end of this month
yet he was only one-hundredth of a second behind compatriot Davian Dennis in
the boys Under-17s 100 metres hurdles. Dennis clocked 13.28 seconds.

Dennis is young enough to be in the
U-17s next year too so their tussle in CARIFTA could become a saga.

Graham thought he had won but
obviously the photo finish proved otherwise. Like many Jamaican U-17s at
CARIFTA Graham was inspired by Usain Bolt.

Graham only became serious in
athletics after watching Bolt demolish rivals at the Beijing Olympics two years

“This is my first time in CARIFTA,”
Graham said. He comes from Clarendon and attends Manchester High. “I’ve been
training heavily since last September and I just wanted to come out here and do
my best and that’s what I did today.

“From primary school coming up I
just loved track and field. I got into hurdles because I tried it one day and
my coach was impressed.

“Even though I’m not tall for a
hurdler I make up for it in technique and speed.

“Usain Bolt has been a great
influence. Community members where I live encourage me to keep it up. Some
people say that I’m going to be the next Usain Bolt and I just take that as a
nice compliment.”

“Eventually I want to be a
financial analyst as well as being a professional athlete.