Athletics: Japan prodigy Sani Brown eyes big scalps in London
Send a link to a friend
[June 26, 2017]
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese
teenager Abdul Hakim Sani Brown is eyeing bigger scalps at the world
championships in London after completing an impressive sprint double
of national titles over the weekend.
In pouring rain, the 18-year-old upset members of Japan's Olympic
silver medal-winning 4x100 meters relay team to win the 100m in a
personal best 10.05 seconds in Osaka on Saturday.
On Sunday, he ran a personal best 20.32 seconds to seal the 200m,
two years after making the semi-finals at the world championships in
No Japanese sprinter has ever broken the 10-second barrier in the
100m, with Koji Ito coming closest when he ran 10 seconds flat in
But former junior 100 and 200m world champion Sani Brown is emerging
as the man most likely and will be keen to test the barrier in
London in August.
"Even I'm surprised," said Sani Brown of his weekend. "I didn't know
I could run like this. I hope I get the chance to compete against
top sprinters and break the 10-second barrier."
Born to a Ghanian father and Japanese mother, Sani Brown became the
first to complete the national sprint double since Shingo Suetsugu's
Injury robbed the 2015 IAAF 'Rising Star of the Year' of a run at
the Rio Olympics, where the 4x100m relay team shot to national fame
after winning silver behind Usain Bolt's Jamaica.
Having graduated from high school in March, Sani Brown is now
training in the Netherlands with Rana Reider and will move to the
United States after enrolling with the University of Florida.
"I think there's a difference in the way coaches work
in Japan and the way the top coaches in the world work," the 1.88m
(6ft-2in) Sani Brown said in comments published by Kyodo on Monday.
[to top of second column]
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (JPN) celebrates after winning the 200m in a
championship record 20.34 during the 2015 IAAF World Youth
Championships at Estadio Olimpico Pascual Guerrero. Mandatory
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
"I've done a lot of weight training which has strengthened my core,
and that's stabilized my upper body when I run."
Ito, now a high performance chief at Japan's athletics federation,
said the sprinter had the nous of a seasoned campaigner.
"Like Carl Lewis or Bolt, he has the ability to rein it in until 60
or 70 meters before letting it all go, and that is a quality not
everyone has," Ito told Kyodo.
Sani Brown's biggest test may be coping with the hype when he lines
up at London. Goal-setting is unlikely to be a problem.
"I'm very happy about being number one in Japan, but I don't want to
settle for this," he told Kyodo. "I want to do well at the world
championships and other competitions I've got ahead of me."
(Writing by Ian Ransom; Editing by John O'Brien)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten