Jamal Walton has every reason to feel on top of the world. The 15-year-old athlete is coming off a phenomenal showing at the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships in Morelia, Mexico over the weekend.
Not only did he win gold in the 400 meters but his time of 47.01 seconds broke the event record of 47.17 seconds set by Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt 12 years ago.
The George Town native is currently a sophomore at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and says he feels great to top Bolt.
“I’m feeling great, though kind of tired after lots of travel,” Walton said. “It feels awesome to win, I had to check the time sheet to make sure I broke it. Everybody wanted me to break it so I had to come out trying to break it and do my best. It made me feel great – like a big man – like I can do stuff and break the record and everything.”
Walton touched down in Cayman on Tuesday, where he was greeted by brother Jeremiah and parents Gordon and Maud Walton. Dad Gordon said he thought his son could do great things.
“I feel so proud, so very proud of him,” Gordon said. “From the time he started, I thought he could do it.”
Jamal Walton is already the senior as well as junior 400m Cayman Islands record holder. He is also ranked fourth in the world among Under-18 400m runners.
Next up for Jamal are the International Association of Athletics Federations World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, from July 22 to 27 and the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China from Aug. 16 to 28.
He says he will also run the Amateur Athletic Union Championships in Orlando, Florida this week.
“I’m going to Orlando to break some youth records and I’ve done that before. I got to just chill, relax and train hard – not too hard because of the big runs in Oregon and then China.”