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Facts on the fastest

Trayvon Bromell set a world junior record of 9.97 when he stormed to victory in the NCAA 100m in Eugene last month. As the 19-year-old sprinter bids to make history again at this week’s Oregon 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, here are nine things you might not know about the sub-10-second man.

1. He’s fast. Very fast

Excuse us for stating the obvious for a moment. In posting his 9.97 Bromell became the first junior to break 10 seconds, shaving 0.04 seconds off the record that he had jointly held with Darrel Brown.

It wasn't a one off either. In May he posted an eye watering 9.77 in Lubbock, Texas, following on from a 9.99 in Albuquerque in 2013, though he benefited from a favorable tailwind in both occasions. 

“I always liked to run fast,” he says. It's just as well.

2. More to give

Not content with just smashing records over 100m, Bromell has targeted the 200m and has shown rich potential over that distance.

“I have run a windy 20.23 and a legal PR of 20.59 pulling up in the last 10m, so I can run the 200m,” he insists.

3. London calling

The Texas-based sprinter says his earliest memory of watching Usain Bolt run was at the London 2012 Olympics - this makes SPIKES feel old!

4. History boy

If Bromell wins the 100m at the world juniors, he will become only the second American to win the event in the last 26 years.

It's an opportunity he will relish. “There’ll be a lot of love shown from the Oregon community. They love their track and field and it is a real privilege to be there."

5. Family affair

Sport runs in the blood. Bromell’s mother, Shri, was a former high school sprinter but quit to pursue a career in art. His father, Cashmere, was a Canadian Football League player.

It was his uncle Terrell that first noticed his potential after seeing him race on the street. He urged him to join a club and aged 10 Bromell won his first competitive race.

6. Fractured start

After showing early promise Bromell’s teenage years were littered with injuries. Between 8th and 10th grade he broke both knees, his forearm, and fractured his hip, a result of both on and off-track antics.

The injuries prevented him from training and competing at a crucial stage of his development, but Bromell didn't let it get in the way of his aspirations. “I used the injuries as fuel to the fire and in my senior year (at high school) I had a blast,” he says.

Trayvon Bromell on his way to a 10.01 clocking in the 100m at the Texas Relays (Kirby Lee)

Trayvon Bromell: "I used the injuries as fuel to the fire"

7. Straight laced

He admits to having a fetish for shoes. And though he owns an impressive 50 pairs, he has been eyeing up another athlete’s collection.

“I think Tony McQuay (world 400m silver medallist) has the best shoe collection. I’m a friend of his on Instagram and I know he has a lot of nice shoes.”

8. Pocket rocket

At just 5ft 9in Bromell isn't the tallest. But he draws inspiration from another diminutive 100m star. His track hero is Tyson Gay, the US 100m record holder. “I admire his work ethic and mindset. I feel he is similar to me in terms of height, so I look at what he has accomplished and believe I can do it too.”

9. Track not field

Like his father, Bromell was a fine American football player. He played at high school but it was never a path he wanted to follow. “I didn’t want to pursue football. It was track and field that interested me,” he admits. 

“I’ve always taken track seriously and worked hard in practise. I want to push the boundaries of how fast the human body can run.” With a string of records already broken, Bromell's boundary pushing is well under way.

Read our full length feature on Trayvon Bromell in the special Oregon 2014 edition of SPIKES, available online here.