By Anthony Foster, World-Track
Bressanone/Brixen – American Youth star Joshua Mance, a medallist at the IAAF World Youth Championships, says he gave up playing basketball earlier this season for the new love he found in track and field.
Mance, who ran a personal best of 46.22seconds to finish second to Grenada’s Kirani James in boys 400m, said he admires fellow American quarter-miler Jeremy Wariner, but admits basketball stars LeBron James and Dwayne Wade were his favourite sports stars.
"I originally like basketball more, but I love track & field more now. I am better at track and field," he said after his 46.22 seconds run for second in the boys’ 400m final behind Grenadian Kirani James, who posted a Championship record 45.24 to win on Friday.
"I liked basketball, but track & field is my sport from now on," he said.
When asked why he picked the track over the courts, Mance replied: “I stopped because I move and you have to work from the bottom to the top again in basketball, whereas and in track, you don’t have to because if you run a good time, you are on the team.”
"Track & field is about you, nobody else, basketball is a team," said Mance, who sees himself as an Olympic and World champion in the not too distance feature.
"I want that real bad," he said.
Winning a silver was not too disappointing for the American, though he would have loved to slip under the 46 seconds barrier.
"I wanted to run 45 more than how I wanted to win," he explained. "I lost the race off the backstretch," he said.
However, in the end, he said he has learnt a lot about the race and targets a better overall performance at World Junior next year.
"I am going for the gold at World Junior next year. I am going back home to work harder, because I want to be on the top in Moncton Canada."