American sprint icon endorses 16-year-old Quincy Wilson's potential inclusion in team USA for Paris Olympics

American sprint icon endorses 16-year-old Quincy Wilson's potential inclusion in team USA for Paris Olympics

Mark Kinyanjui 17:47 - 17.04.2024

Former Olympic champion Justin Gatlin has revealed why he wants Wilson, who broke Usain Bolt's 400m record, to be a part of Team USA for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Former Olympic champion Justin Gatlin has revealed why American wonderkid Quincy Wilson should be part of the team for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Wilson made headlines as he made history by surpassing the likes of the fastest man in the world Usain Bolt and former Olympic champion Kirani James’ records in the 400m in March.

The 16-year-old was in a class of his own as he obliterated a strong field to win the 400m at the Bullis Track sophomore where he was opening his outdoor season.

He clocked an impressive Personal Best time of 45.19 to win the race, beating the times that Bolt and James had clocked when they were the same age. At 16, Bolt had a personal best time of 45.35 while James had a Personal Best time of 45.24.

His record has been so impressive, it has been reported he is considering going for the Olympic trials in order to have a go at taking part in the event itself despite his tender years.

Gatlin, who was a reserve relay team member of the USA in 2003 at 21, has revealed that taking Wilson to the Olympics this year will help him gain a lot of experience that will go a long way in helping him establish his status as a dominating athlete for years to come.

“I really truly believe experience is the best tool to bring a professional athlete to their tool, especially a young athlete,” Gatlin said on the Ready Set Go Podcast.

“Just sitting there in the stands and watching a track meet in an Olympics or World Championship stadium is a special feeling. I am glad I had that opportunity in 2003 when I was an alternate for the relay but did not run.

“It gave me an opportunity to set myself up to mentally be ready in 2004 and I think that was the reason I was able to go out there and win the gold because I was not flustered by how big the crowd was. I was ready for it.

“I was part of the crowd the year before and now I was already performing in front of the crowd the next year.”

Highlighting Wilson's exceptional talent, Gatlin expressed his admiration for the young athlete's dominance at such a tender age. “It is a breath of fresh air when you see an athlete dominating that young. We do not see it often," Gatlin observed. 

He further acknowledged the potential of upcoming talents in youth athletics, saying, “There are others who are going to run those 45s more consistently. He is beating them now, but there are others who will run that more consistently because they will believe they can do it."

As the athletics world eagerly awaits the Paris Olympics, Gatlin's endorsement serves as a compelling argument for Wilson's inclusion in Team USA, offering the young sprinter an invaluable opportunity to showcase his prodigious talent on the global stage.