Twelve-year-old Daunte Henriques, of Vanessa, recently won gold in the Boys 11-12 400 metre dash event at the Hershey's Track and Field Games in Hershey, Pennsylvania. (EDDIE CHAU Delhi News-Record)


VANESSA - Usain Bolt is considered by many as the fastest person ever.

However if Daunte Henriques is running down the track that moniker might be disputed.

The 12-year-old Vanessa native is fast. Insanely fast.

In some instances the young athlete is mistaken for the gold medal winning Olympian.

“Some have called me Bolt in some races,” chuckled Henriques. “They'll say 'Here comes Bolt.'”

There's no way one can say that Henriques isn't a locomotive with legs. There's a gold medal around his neck that proves it.

Henriques placed first in the Boys 11-12 400 metre dash during the Hershey's Track and Field Games North American Final which took place in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 3. Henriques competed at the event representing the Brantford Track and Field Club.

“I was excited (to participate) until race day. That's when I was extremely nervous,” Henriques said. “It was the first time I had left Ontario and even Canada. But it was great. I've met a lot of new friends at the competition.”

One of Henriques' new friends was former track and field athlete Carl Lewis, who told the youngster “if you can keep it up you can go far.”

Henriques was on cloud nine after receiving words of wisdom from the nine-time Olympic gold medalist.

As a child Henriques grew up a severe asthmatic. After discovering track and field, Henriques improved his respiratory health through constant running and training.

Through track and field Henriques' abilities have earned him many ribbons and medals at elementary - Delhi and Teeterville public schools, county and Minor Track Association meets.

Of his many athletic accomplishments includes claiming gold in the 400 metre dash at the Minor Track Association Provincial Championships held in Brampton on July 20. Henriques won with a time of 59.74 seconds in the 400 metre dash and also placed third in the 200 metre dash with a time of 26.86 seconds.

With many more years of competition ahead of him Henriques has his eyes set high for the immediate future.

“My ultimate goal is to become an Olympian,” he said. “I want to go to the 2020 Summer Olympics.”

Eddie Chau

519-426-3528 ext. 134