Britain’s David Bolarinwa and Jamaica‘s Odane Skeen won their qualifying heats in the 100 metres at the Youth Olympics today, setting up a final between two sprinters touted as possibly the next Usain Bolt.

Bolarinwa blew away the field in his heat, finishing in 10.62 seconds. Skeen got out slowly but surged to run 10.63 and beat Thailand’s Jirapong Meenapra.

Odane Skeen of Jamaica, left, and Jirapong Meenapra of Thailand, right, compete in the boy’s 100 metres at the Youth Olympics today, in Singapore. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

The 16-year-old Bolarinwa has the fastest time this year among 16- and 17-year-olds — a 10.39 in London this month. Skeen, a 15-year-old whose lanky style has some likening him to his compatriot Bolt, ran a 10.46 in Jamaica.

“I thought ‘let me go there, go hard and see if anyone can go faster,'” Bolarinwa said. “It was a good performance overall.”

Skeen was less thrilled with his race, blaming his slower time on two false starts by other competitors. But he said come Saturday’s final, he would win.

Bolarinwa and Skeen will face each other for the first time. Skeen was surprised to learn Bolarinwa has posted the fastest 100 this year. Marvin Bracy of the United States ran the second fastest, but is not competing at the games.

Organisers of the first Youth Olympics have emphasised participation rather than winning, but that was lost on Bolarinwa and Skeen.

Both boys seemed to relish the comparison to Bolt and their budding rivalry to that of Bolt and Tyson Gay. Told he has been compared to Bolt, Skeen just smiled and said he dreams of surpassing his idol.

“I want to be better than Bolt,” said Skeen, whose goal it is to win gold at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Source: Jamaica Observer

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