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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Vanuatu sprinter smashes PB with 11.53 in MEN'S 100m Prelim rounds

Vanuatu sprinter smashes PB with 11.53 in MEN'S 100m Prelim rounds

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From Vanuatu to Moscow, teenager gets taste of big time


While Usain Bolt enjoys a leisurely day before beginning his quest for 100 metres gold later on Saturday, teenage Vanuatu sprinter Daniel Philimon's World Athletics Championships lasted 11.53 seconds.

When the sport's great showman takes to the stage, Philimon will be sat in the stands hoping one day to meet his idol.

In muggy conditions and in front of a sparse Luzhniki stadium crowd on the first morning of the global showpiece, the 18-year-old from Malakula - the second largest of a string of some 80 islands in the South Pacific Ocean that make up Vanuatu - got a brief taste of the big time.

Forcing a half smile, Philimon said he had not been nervous.

But despite smashing his personal best having never previously dipped under 12 seconds, he appeared to be distinctly underwhelmed by his efforts.

"I was expecting to do a better time. I've had a hamstring injury the last two weeks. I know I can run 10.7," said Vanuatu's only competitor in Moscow after his run in the first of four preliminary round heats where he placed sixth of seven.

The slightly-built Philimon came to Russia with the slowest registered personal best time of all the 100 metres competitors - and he admitted his training facilities back home "were not good".

"We only have maybe four sprinters in Vanuatu – preparing themselves for the Commonwealth Games (next year in Glasgow)," he said.

"My coach is back home. I'm here with the (Federation) president."

Once known as the New Hebrides - Vanuatu achieved independence from France and Britain in 1980.

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