Micayla Whiti with her three gold and one silver medals from the 2020 Colgate Games. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Sprinting prodigy sets personal bests

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Micayla Whiti is one to watch but don’t blink or you’ll miss her.

The young sprinting prodigy got her first taste of gold as a five-year-old and has been racking up the medals ever since.

She will leave an impressive legacy at the Colgate Games after her final appearance next year.

The 13-year-old has been competing at the event since she was seven, dominating the 100m and 200m sprints and amassing a staggering 25 medals.

Micayla was in vintage form at her most recent games, bringing home three gold medals and a silver.

She finished first in the 200m and was just pipped to the finish, while battling a strong head wind, in the 100m during the North Island Games in Taranaki.

Micayla set a personal best time of 26:22 in the 200m.

She then went one better at the South Island games, winning double gold and setting another personal best time of 12.85 in the 100m.

Her focus now shifts to the Tasman Champs this weekend where she has been number one for eight years.

Micayla moves onto high school this year, meaning 2021 will be her final Colgate Games, but says she is excited about her next chapter.

The diminutive runner says she had so much energy as a child her mum put her into athletics.

“I kept going from there when they realised how fast I was.”

She credits her coach Dennis Kale and training squad, the “Speed Freaks,” where she trains with the nationally-ranked Lucy Sheat, for her ascension in the sport.

Micayla says she is never daunted by the occasion when waiting in the starters block. “I kind of like the nerves.”

She hopes to one day emulate her idol, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who claimed gold for Jamaica at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“A gold medal for New Zealand at Olympics, that’s the dream.”

Mother Angela says her daughter is not one to brag about her lengthy list of accolades.

“She’s quite humble, her school used to have to push her to tell them how she went on the weekend because she wouldn’t tell them.”