CROYDON sprinter Tyrese Johnson revealed that he might start considering a professional career in athletics after claiming gold in the boys' 100m at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games last weekend. Johnson was one of the success stories of the Games' finals weekend at Crystal Palace as he stormed to 100m gold in a time of 11.00 seconds dead on his debut outing. The 14-year-old has plenty of options as he targets a life as a professional sportsman – he is currently part of the Leicester Tigers Developing Player Programme and spent three years living in Dubai where he played semi-professional football for Al Wasl's academy, during which time Diego Maradona was first-team manager. Johnson, who lives in Croydon but attends Oakham School in Leicestershire, only took up athletics last April and is now looking to break the 100m record at the English Schools' Championships this weekend as he eyes a career in that sport. "Rugby and football are my main sports but private schools don't really take football seriously so I'm mostly playing rugby," Johnson said. "I only took up athletics to get quicker for my other sports but I guess I'll have to weigh up my options or play it by ear to see which sport I progress furthest in. "The Youth Games was a good challenge and it was nice to go and meet more people in London. It's a goal next year to keep getting better and better. "Usain Bolt is very inspirational as he's a guy who came from nothing to become one of the most talked about people on the planet. "I study his technique a lot to see how he starts, how he finishes off his starts and his arm movements. I often watch a video of him explaining how to run the 100m – he's the only person I listen to about the 100m." For the second year running Croydon finished second in the overall Jubilee Trophy standings, 43 points behind winners Wandsworth and three points ahead of third placed Richmond. The borough picked up gold medals seven sports – angling, tennis, diving and boys and girls ParaGames swimming and athletics – while Javon Reid also starred on the track with silver in the 200m. The London boroughs and Balfour Beatty invest in the London Youth Games to build stronger communities through competitive sport.
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