American ace dreams big

LOS ANGELES. — American rugby player Carlin Isles has launched an ambitious bid to represent the United States in two different sports at a single Olympic games after deciding to resurrect his sprinting career.

Isles — popularly known as “The Fastest Man In Rugby” — took up the seven-a-side version of the sport in 2012 after failing to make the US Olympic team for the London Games.

The 26-year-old US international winger’s personal best for the 100m — a wind-assisted 10.12sec — would have been good enough for a semi-final place in the London Olympics four years ago.

Now Isles, who is virtually certain to be selected for the US Sevens squad for Rio de Janeiro as rugby returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1924, is hoping to win a place in the American track and field contingent as well.

Isles told reporters at the US Olympic team media summit on Monday he will race the 60m at the US National Indoor championships in Portland, Oregon, this weekend as part of a bid to relaunch his sprinting career, skipping the Vancouver leg of the World Rugby Sevens series which clashes with the meet.

“I’m trying to do track and field and rugby at the Olympics,” Isles said.

“I’m doing indoor at the Nationals. I’m supposed to go to Vancouver, but my coach is letting me go, so I’m going to the Nationals. I’m hoping to do the 100m in Rio.”

The chances of Isles forcing his way into the US athletics team for Rio appear remote, with the leading American contenders for 100m places all clocking personal bests considerably faster than the winger’s best times. — AFP.

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