Unknown 17 Year Old 400m Runner Blasts 45.39


Unbelievable! Possible age cheat? Or just extraordinary athlete?


Impossible to know for sure whether this kid really is 17 – but this does remind me of Grant Pollock.

Grant Pollock ran for Virginia Tech, and recorded (I believe) a 3:51 1500m at a meet somewhere during the 2011 NCAA Outdoor season.

The SID (sports information director - the guys who update schools’ websites regarding the different sports teams, writing articles, publishing results, etc) was given an incorrect time, and reported on VT’s website that Grant had run 3:31. Not being familiar with the VT track team (or track at all, apparently), the SID reported on the school’s official website that Grant had run the 3:31 - and went on and on about how it was the world-leading time for 2011 and how it ranked Pollock second all-time for the US and how he was in the top twenty all-time the whole world over, etc (it was clear he had done some research after seeing that one of the VT kids ran a time about 15 seconds faster than anyone else in the meet, conference, country, etc).

My friends and I read that press release and were convinced that, because it wasn’t just a number in a list but instead a seemingly well-researched and articulate explanation of the time that Pollock had run, that this was what really happened - that he had run a 3:31. In one race, this kid, as far as we knew, took his personal best from 3:53 to 3:31. We were calling each other, shouting into the phones, laughing hysterically, etc.

The next day, the school figured out what had happened, and printed a retraction on their website. We had a feeling that something like this was the case while we were losing our minds the night prior, but we wanted so desperately for it to be true that we suspended disbelief.

I know this isn’t exactly the same situation, but every now and again sport has a truly “out of nowhere” performer explode onto the scene, and there’s nothing more fun. We Americans now roll our eyes at the “Lin-sanity” of early 2012, but those really were a fun couple of weeks. For a moment, and please excuse the cheesiness, but it really does feel like anything is possible, and that the rules of sport are breaking down.

I hope this kid wins gold in Rio haha.


I hope not. Personally I don’t like cheats. Like this kid from Qatar, who was unheard of just suddenly came out and ran faster than most Open men in Australia have. I know that anything is possible, but I think he’s a bit too young to come out of nowhere and run a 45 second 400. There are many age cheats in Australia at the moment, some who have admitted to it. This is because they are given their birth certificates at around 4 or 5 years of age after migrating to Australia.


Last night in your original post you seemed open to the idea that he wasn’t lying about his age, but was perhaps just a great athlete.

If he’s really that fast, who cares how old he is, with respect to the Olympics? Maybe he sneaks his way into World Junior’s with a fake age, but in the Olympics what does it matter? Was Nijel Amos really 18 at the 2012 Olympics? Are those Chinese gymnasts really as old as they say they are? In age-specific competition I suppose it matters - but the Olympics and World’s and national championships and the Diamond League are all about who is the fastest, period. And even if we did for some reason start caring deeply in open competitions about people’s actual birth dates, how would we go about proving it? It is literally impossible in many cases.

Perhaps you don’t intend this, but “personally I don’t like cheats” is a fairly condescending way to talk. It’s implying that I do like them.


Sorry, I wasn’t implying that at all, I didn’t mean to be condescending.By saying extraordinary athlete or age cheat, I was asking for people’s opinions on the matter. And you’re right about the Olympics, but with regards to the Youth Championships, I find it unfair to all of those young athletes who train hard, only to be beaten by “age cheats”. In relation to testing a persons age, it’s possible via a bone density test.


He may be legit. which i hope he is, i like seeing these young guys flying.
Like amos and aman etc -although it makes me feel crap about myself.

But with whats gone on with driouch over the last few days, who knows if this guys perhaps hiding something?


If he is legit, I’d be very very surprised, considering this was done indoor.


exactly. he’d surely be on the heels of the big guys outdoor


It will be interesting to see what he actually looks like.