Rising teenage hurdling star Jaheel Hyde loves football. The 110m hurdles world youth, Youth Olympic and 400m hurdles world junior champion tells SPIKES about his family's footballing heritage, and his own talent for the beautiful game.

Early beginnings

“I started to play competitive football from about the age of eight. My father Lenworth Hyde had played for Jamaica as a right midfielder for 13 years [from 1978-1991] and I remember my dad encouraging me from a young age. I played as a left-winger.”

International honours

“My football highlight came playing for Jamaica under-17 in the Caribbean Football qualifiers. I scored a hat-trick against Bermuda in a 5-0 win to help Jamaica qualify for the CONCACAF section of the Under-17 World Cup.

“I decided to turn down the chance to compete in that tournament because I wanted to focus on the 2013 World Youth Championships.” 

Jaheel Hyde ()

Football's loss: Hyde set a new championship record on his way to the 110m hurdles title at the 2013 World Youth Championships

Gooner forever

“My football team is Arsenal. I’m a big fan of Thierry Henry – he scored a lot of goals and I score a lot of goals! I became a big fan of Arsenal after watching their Invincibles team go unbeaten during the 2003-04 season.

“My favourite current player is Manchester United's Robin van Persie [a former Arsenal player] because some people say I play like him.”

Clockwork orange

“Because I really like Van Persie and Arjen Robben, my international team is the Netherlands. One of my favourite memories is watching them beat Spain 5-1 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.” 

Football gains

“The work I put in as a footballer helps my track and field. The running up hills and abdominal work I do as part of training acts as great background work for my track and field.”

Jaheel Hyde ()

This year Hyde won gold in the 400m hurdles at the world juniors and in the 110m hurdles at the Youth Olympics with a youth record 12.96

Left-sided Bolt

“Like me, Usain Bolt is left-footed and I think he would make a great footballer. I’ve seen him play before and I think he would make a good winger or centre forward.

“As for footballers who would make good sprinters, I think Cristiano Ronaldo and Arjen Robben would be good.”

Future ambitions

“For me, I think I will play football for my school Wolmer’s Boys for two more years [athletics is Hyde's main priority]. Last season we finished second in the national tournament and I was leading goalscorer in the competition with 20 goals in 14 games.”