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Sport

Aussie nuts over Bolt!

...Rues not meeting sprint king, but cherishes J’can track enlightenment

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, January 29, 2013    

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DESPITE not getting the chance to rub shoulders with Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man on sand, Australia's Jordan Caldow is amazed at what he has learnt on his two-week stay in Jamaica.

Caldow, 19, is a part of a 10-member group from Australia training with Sprintec at the GC Foster College.

The Telegraph newspaper in Australia splashed a headline in December, "Adelaide runner Jordan Caldow set to train with superstar Usain Bolt". But that has not materialised for the rising star of Australia's track and field.

"I haven't got a chance to meet Bolt maybe next time," the Australian told the Jamaica Observer, moments after winning his 200m heat at the Queen's Grace Jackson Meet last Saturday.

Caldow, who recently won the 100m beach title at the World Surf Lifesaving Championships at Glenelg, Australia, is playing his part in maintaining Jamaica's global dominance in male sprinting.

Caldow, born to a Jamaican father and who sped to 22.50 seconds to win his 200m heat at the Queens meet on Saturday, said despite seemingly having the same genetics responsible for Jamaica's producing sprinters like Ben Johnson and Donovan Bailey who represented Canada and Linford Christie who ran for Great Britain, he won't be trying to make Jamaica's team.

"Judging by the conditions of the boys out here it will be a lot easier to make Australia's team. You guys work hard," he said with a chuckle.

"My focus at the moment is to make the Rio (Olympics) 100m. Our Australian championships are in mid April and that's my short-term focus," he added.

"I am coming from a background doing sprinting on sand. I won the world championship for sand running. Then I look around and decide what else I wanted. I was the best Under-17... then I you see you guys on TV... and I said right, that's what's next," he told the Observer.

A superstar in beach sprinting circle, Caldow got a culture shock and a taste of what it takes to be the best on the track in his short stint in Jamaica.

"We have been staying at GC Foster College and it is the first time I have been set an alarm for 5:00 in the mornings to get up and train and coach Maurice Wilson is insane (smile). The amount of technical help he has given me under two weeks is more than I could have gotten from anyone in Australia and I am so grateful for that," said Caldow.

"Don Quarrie (1976 Olympic 200m champion) came down yesterday (Friday) and he was giving us tips on how to run the bend and just listening to him is amazing... just look at his achievements," said Caldow.

"Frater (Michael) spoke to us a couple of days ago on what it takes to be a strong sprinter to make it to the Olympic level. Everything I hear from you guys I have to soak it up," he noted.

Caldow and his 10-member delegation were due to depart the island yesterday for Australia. And on a point of note, Jamaicans should keep his name in mind as he's hell-bent on putting Australia on the map in world sprinting. Rio Olympic 2016 in Brazil is his target.

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