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Taylor says coach's reaction gave him first hint of world record

Published:Tuesday | March 10, 2015 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman

Christopher Taylor's Under-15 world record sizzler on Sunday at the Carifta Trials rocked the National Stadium and awed many, including himself, as well as his coach, Michael Clarke, who describes the breathtaking 45.69 seconds as a "a global masterpiece".

The 15-year-old gem of an athlete outclassed the field on his way to eclipsing a mark set by Grenadian prodigy Kirani James.

"I felt surprised and happy. I was just running to win the race, but when I saw my coach and everybody laughing, clapping and cheering, that was when I knew I had done something special," Taylor told The Gleaner.

"I was so happy," he added, maintaining that "I just ran to qualify".

James won gold in the 400 metres at the 2007 Carifta Games in the Under-17 category.

He sizzled at 47.86 seconds, and then won silver at the 2007 World Youth Championships in 46.96 seconds, the fastest time recorded by a 14-year-old. By the time he got to 15, James lowered that time to 45.70, a mark that stood until Taylor's magnificent run on Sunday.


New-found fame


On Sunday, tremendous improvements, technical prowess and a mature approach helped Taylor skyrocket to new-found fame, yet it seemed all on the cards a few weeks ago, when he ran 46.80 at the Youngster Goldsmith track and field meet.

Prior to that, his most outstanding performance was at Champs 2014, where the then eighth-grader won gold in 48.80 seconds.

"I knew the season after Champs (last year) that I could go faster. I just work hard, train hard, and I am looking to win at Champs again," he added.

Taylor's focus is on athletics, as he looks forward to replicating Javon Francis' heroics.

The outstanding Francis attended Calabar, while legendary Usain Bolt remains an idol, who motivates Taylor to become a great one day.

Despite over 30 years' experience in track and field coaching, Michael Clarke has few words to describe his charge's performance.

"I am astonished as everyone else. I still can't fully digest it, in all my 30-odd years of coaching," he said.

"He set and broke global boundaries so easy, all I could say, along with people in the stands, is that God spent more time on him," added Clarke.