While 19-year-old Dina Asher-Smith has been setting the world of British Athletics alight, America have an even faster teen sensation in 16-year-old Candace Hill.
History student Asher-Smith broke her own British record when she ran 100 metres in 10.99sec on Saturday, but Hill has been tipped to cause the same sort of stir as Usain Bolt when he was a teen after she broke the world youth record with a run of 10.98sec in Seattle last month.
The youngster from Georgia, an academic high achiever potentially good enough for Harvard, was recently honoured at the Gatorade Player of the Year awards. Previous winners include the NFL’s Peyton Manning, the NBA’s LeBron James and sprinter Allyson Felix.
‘In Asher-Smith, we have a really special talent who could win championship medals over many years,’ former Olympic champion Darren Campbell told Sportsmail. ‘But when you talk about a 16-year-old who has run quicker, we’re entering Usain Bolt territory. ‘I heard about Bolt when he was 14 and had already run close to 20 seconds over 200m.
‘At 16, you’re still growing and there’s so much scope for perfecting technique and lifting weights. She won’t be at her optimum power yet — we’re still seeing 100 per cent natural, unpolished talent.’
Hill’s record time would have clinched seventh place at London 2012. At 5ft 8in, she
is already eight inches taller than Olympic champion Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce and her rangy figure could be a powerful weapon if she decides to compete at next year’s Olympic Games in Rio.
‘Bolt is about 6ft 5in and people used to think tall people can’t make the best sprinters,’ said Campbell. ‘The first 30 metres will never be a strength for Bolt or Hill, but if you stay relaxed longer limbs can work to your advantage. ‘The arms control the legs and help keep the stride length long, which means you decelerate at a slower rate.’