City of York Athletic Club sprint star Tom Somers second only to legendary Usain Bolt in 200m age group rankings

City of York Athletic Club sprinter Tom Somers

Reigning Olympic 200 metre champion and world record holder Usain Bolt

First published in Sport York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

CITY of York Athletic Club sprint star Tom Somers is the world's quickest 17-year-old over 200 metres since the great Usain Bolt.

The Yearsley teenager clocked 20.37 seconds in the semi-finals of the IAAF World Junior Championships in the USA to move up to second on the all-time 200 metre list in his age bracket.

Jamaican sensation Bolt, the world record holder and reigning 100m and 200m Olympic champion, ran 19.93 seconds at the same age in 2004.

Somers was unable to repeat his qualifying form in the final at the championships in Eugene, Oregon, finishing seventh in 20.92 seconds.

However, there were plenty of positives for the Queen Ethelburga's School student, who is top of his age group in Europe and ranked third overall in Britain behind senior runners Adam Gemili and Danny Talbot.

Somers, who ran a then personal best of 20.60 seconds in the heats before his incredible semi-final time, said: “My preparation felt really good, but maybe the nerves got to me being in the stadium.

"I can’t complain. I came out here and ran two PBs and made the final, so I couldn’t be much happier, but I wish I performed a bit better in the final.

"There’s things to work on and I’ve come out with a lot of positives from this performance.”

The teenager's coach, City of York's Geoff Barraclough, said: "It was just one race too far.

"The 20.37 in the semi-final took more out of him than he thought, but he is still feeling positive.

"He's top of his age group in Europe, number two on the all-time list in his age group behind Usain Bolt, and ranked third overall in Britain."


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