CAPE TOWN – He turned just 17 in July, but he is already on top of the world in his division. And that feeling is amazing, says South Africa’s newest 100m sprint sensation Luke Davids.
The youngster, who hails from Belhar on the Cape Flats and attends Parow High School, proved that he was worthy of his favourite tag when he clocked 10.15 seconds to win gold at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires on Monday night.
It equalled the Under-18 world record set by American Anthony Schwartz in March last year, but unfortunately for Davids, it won’t count as an official time as the wind reading was 3.4 metres per second, beyond the legal limit of 2.0m/s.
So, Davids won’t be able to claim the South African record of 10.20 set by Gift Leotlela either, but he still has a gold medal by becoming the first SA male athlete to win the Youth Olympics 100m title.
“The feeling of being the fastest young man in the world and being number one is amazing,” Davids said told the event’s official website on Tuesday.
“I’ve been dreaming of this moment for months now. The spectators were incredible. The support they give you on the track, in the warm-up and at all times is sensational.
“People from Argentina seem as if they were from South Africa because of their kindness and, for that reason, I felt at home.”
Davids’ official personal best remains 10.31, which he ran in Paarl in April this year, but that is sure to fly too.
Some SA fans may feel that he could become the next Usain Bolt, but Davids wants to carve out his own niche in the world of sprinting.
“I am very different (to Bolt). He is not me and I am not him. We have different personalities,” Davids said.
“I try to focus on my goal and what I have to do. I do not think much about comparing myself to him.”
Davids beat off the challenge of Nigeria’s Alaba Olukunle Akintola, who claimed the silver medal in 10.24, and Japan’s Seiryo Ikeda (10.30) took the bronze.