When I was growing up, there were few sights more mesmerizing than seeing Trinidad and Tobago’s former World Junior 100-metre champion Darrel Brown in full flight. Then again, that “full flight” characterization never seemed apropos because Brown, who also won a World Championship 100m silver in 2003, never ever looked to be going flat out.
Throughout my teens, he just seemed to show up at the CARIFTA Games and amble his way comfortably clear of Jamaican junior sprintdom’s creme de la creme year after year. The likes of eventual Commonwealth Games 200-metre champ Omar Brown, future World Championships 200-metre finalist Marvin Anderson, Tesfa Latty, Yhann Plummer, and Winston Smith were all numbered among the vanquished at one point or the other.
Since that time, I’ve only seen one other teenaged sprinter who, when fully right, makes running fantastically fast times look so easy: Jhevaughn Matherson. (Honourable mention: Remaldo “Rose-Royce” Rose).
Brown’s was the first name to spring to mind when I saw Kingston College’s Matherson dominate the CIII sprints at Champs in 2013. There’s a certain (extravagantly) exaggerated ease each exhibits that’ll forever link them in my mind.
This is Matherson ‘racing’ to a national U-18 record time of 10.25 seconds at CARIFTA Trials recently. (By the way, that’s a 15 year-old behind him clocking 10.39 seconds.)
Of course, one can only hope (and pray) that injuries don’t blight Matherson’s career the way they did Brown’s. (He’s already suffered quite a few in his very short career.) The sport desperately needs rare and brilliant talents like these to be handled with the utmost care so that they can be at their breathtaking best on its biggest stages.