Abdul Hakim Sani Brown of Japan is the favorite to sweep the 100m and 200m at the IAAF World Youth Championships this week.
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown. It's a long name but one you should opt to remember this week, as the 16-year-old Japanese sprinter looks to becomes just the second-ever male to sweep the sprint events at the IAAF World Youth Championships.
The Josai Prep High School student is ranked No. 1 in both the 100m and 200m with times of 10.30 (+0.3) and 20.56 (+1.4).
His top challengers include Tiotliso Gift Leotlela of Russia, who is seeded No. 1 in the 200m at 20.63; Derek Silva of Brazil, who has run 10.38 for 100m; and Team USA's own Maxwell Willis of Bowie, Md. The USATF World Youth Trials champion is seeded just No. 18 with his wind-legal best of 21.21, but he ran a slightly wind-aided 20.55 (+2.6) in New Mexico this spring.
Only two athletes in the eight-year history of the IAAF World Youth Championships have earned the double win. That's Harry Aikines-Aryeety and Jodie Williams, both of Great Britain. Aikines-Aryeety won gold twice in 2005 in Marrakesh with times of 10.35 and 20.91, becoming the first athlete to do so. Williams accomplished the feat in 2009, racing 11.39 and 23.08, respectively.
Candace Hill of the United States has the potential to score a sweep on the girls' side, as she enters the championship ranked No. 1 in the 100m with her National High School Record of 10.98 and No. 2 in the 200m with her best of 23.05 (-0.9).
But for Brown, a sweep at World Youth is just step one. He is potentially racing at the senior IAAF World Championships, held in Beijing, China from August 22 to 30.
Brown finished runner-up in both the 100m and 200m at the Japanese Senior Nationals to earn a bid, though he must secure the 'A' standard marks of 10.16 and 20.50 by August 2 in order to compete in China.
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown places runner-up in the 200m at the Japanese National Championships with a World Youth Lead time of 20.56.
The prodigy is of mixed heritage, as his mother is a native of Japan and his father is from Ghana.
The teenager is already one of the best ever Japanese athletes at the youth level. A rewriting of the Japanese National Record books (10.00 for 100m, 20.03 for 200m) is likely not far off.