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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 July 2005, 08:58 GMT 09:58 UK
Hot Harry at the ready
By Mark Ashenden

Harry Aikines-Aryeetey aims to take on the world

At the age of 16, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey has got the world at his feet.

These are the feet that scorched the Moroccan track at the 2005 World Youth Championships on his way to an historic 100m-200m double.

With a silver at last year's Commonwealth Youth Games already in the bag, the Surrey sprinter could be soon delivering where so many Britons have failed.

It is 13 years since a Brit (Linford Christie) got his hands on 100m Olympic gold and Aikines-Aryeetey wants a piece of the action. Maybe London in seven years?

"You have these dreams and I've even thought about winning it," he told BBC Sport.

"It's definitely on my mind. Every athlete will want to be there in 2012.

"The thought of performing in front of a home crowd and proving to everyone you are the best is exhilarating."

Every sport star tells you they want to achieve at the highest level, but few have the talent or mentality to fully pursue their ambition.

Harry Aikines-Aryeetey aims to take on the world
Name: Harry Aikines-Aryeetey
Born: 29 Aug 1988
Club: Sutton and District
Event: 100m, 200m and relay
Coach: Matt Favier
School: Greenshaw High
A-levels: Sociology, biology, PE

It seems, even at an age where his education tops (just about) his priority list, Aikines-Aryeetey has the maturity and drive to go all the way.

"When I started running at school and my friends were hanging round the park I was always focused on my homework and athletics," he added.

"It's a massive thing in my life and everyone realises this about me."

So is he the real deal? Beijing and London will be the ultimate benchmarks, but judging on current form the boy is hot.

His 200m time of 20.91 seconds in Marrakech is the fastest in the world this year - and his 10.38s for the 100m was no stroll in the park either.

And so with a barrage of media interest and the ensuing pressure on his shoulders, how will he cope?

2004: Justin Gatlin (22 yrs old)
2000: Maurice Greene (26)
1996: Donovan Bailey (28)
1992: Linford Christie (32)
1988: Carl Lewis (27)
1984: Carl Lewis (23)
1980: Alan Wells (28)

"I've been running world class times since I was a kid, so I was expecting this pressure. But I like this expectation. I can handle it.

"I know there'll be times when I let people down but I just want to concentrate on my exams and carry on with my life.

"Athletics is going well but it won't go to my head. It will get to a point where it becomes so serious I will have to take it up as a career."

He'll soon sit down with coach Matt Favier to go through what needs improving, and, with contributions from sprint coach Tony Lester, the teenager's rise looks assured.

He respects and gets on with the likes of Christian Malcolm and Jason Gardener, but Aikines-Aryeetey has a few choice words for his GB rivals.

"The standard of British sprinting is getting better," he added.

"Once the juniors are at the top of their game everybody had better watch out!"

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