Harry Aikines-Aryeetey & Alex Nelson, Britain's two youth 100m medalists

2012 Dream Inspires Aikines-Aryeetey
Fri 15 Jul, 2:09 PM

Harry Aikines-Aryeetey is already dreaming of representing Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics in London after winning the 100metres gold medal at the IAAF/Maroc Telecom World Youth Games in Morocco.

The 16-year-old Surrey sprinter pushed pre-race favourite Alex Nelson, from Stoke, into the silver-medal position last night.

“I’m going to be there and I’m going to win for Great Britain,” he said.

"Can you imagine it, running there in your home country with everyone backing you for victory. What more do I need to aim for?

"I plan on being there. This gives me an even bigger challenge in my career and there’s much more to come from me. I will improve.

“This confirmed I’m a championship performer - I’m number one,” said last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games silver medallist.

It is still very early days for the likes of Aikines-Aryeetey or Nelson, but already the duo have proved they are the scourge of the youth sprinting scene and, given the increased resources which will be made available for 2012 Olympic preparations, their potential should blossom.

The qualifying rounds in Marrakech had suggested the final would produce a one-two victory between the British pair and so it transpired.

Nelson, the world’s fastest man in his age group this year, had been identified as the likely winner of the blue riband event.

However on the night when it mattered most, he succumbed to his rival who showed he has the charisma and confidence to rise to the big occasion.

Nelson said: “I gave it my everything, the better guy won on the day but what can you do? I’m totally shattered.”

Aikines-Aryeetey, whose time of 10.35 seconds was a personal best, conceded: "In the beginning it was a struggle for me when racing against him and there were a lot of other good sprinters.

"So I’ve come a long way to beat that lot. I’ve learned to focus and learned thanks to my coach, to prepare properly for every race.

“But I can’t let this win get to me,” said the world champion, who next week will compete at the European Junior Championships in Lithuania.

"I’ve just got to go there and concentrate and then go back home and play about.

“I might have a go at the 400metres… long jump… anything to keep my eye in.”