Gout Gout set a new Australian record after running 200m in just 20.87 into the wind and came extremely close to breaking legendary sprinter Usain Bolt’s record.
The world of athletics has witnessed several prodigious talents like Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Allyson Felix, and Shelley Ann-Fraser Price who burst on to the scene as young gems and established their legacies in their respective categories.
History might repeat itself with another star-in-the-making. 15-year-old Australian Gout Gout is the talk of the town after his breathtaking heroics in athletics recently. The sprinter wrote his name into the record books following a stellar run during the men’s under-18 200-meter event at the 2023 Junior Athletics Championships in Brisbane.
Gout took 20.87 seconds (into the wind) to complete 200m and set a new Australian U18 record. He ended up overshadowing the joint mark of 20.90s held by Darren Clark in 1982, Paul Greene in 1989, and Zane Branco in 2017 according to news.com.au.
"It means a lot because I've been training so much for this. I was really nervous. The gun went, and I was good and I kept pushing. It's like you can't feel any ground contact, it feels like you are floating," said Gout when asked about his record.
In fact, Gout also came extremely close to breaking Usain Bolt’s record which the Jamaican had set when he was also just 15 years of age. At age 15, legendary Olympian Usain Bolt’s quickest recorded time over 200 meters was 20.58, and that was with a +1.4 tailwind as per the aforementioned source.
"This season has been mind-blowing for me. Last year I came fourth and sixth at nationals, and then I came out at All Schools and won. I was really motivated because I took last year personally, it always feels better when you are winning," he further added.
Gout Gout was born on December 29, 2007 in Brisbane. His parents are originally from South Sudan and he is one of seven children.
It was at Ipswich Grammar School where he first showed his talent and received his first pair of spikes as a result. He is said to idolise American sprinters Erriyon Knighton and Noah Lyles.
Gout also holds the record for being the fastest Australian in the U16 category with a time of 10.57 seconds in the 100m sprint. However, his personal best in that category is 10.43 seconds, which he had clocked just last month.
When the record Gout set at the 2023 Junior Athletics Championships in Brisbane was taken into account, the previous record holders Darren Clark, Paul Greene, and Zane Branco were all at least a year older than the youngster when they ran the time.