The West

Boy beats red tape to race Clarkson
Speedy: James Gallaugher. Picture: Lincoln Baker/ The West Australian

A Perth youngster will join Olympic gold medallist Sally Pearson to run against a sports car after chesting through red tape which threatened to keep him out of a major event for TV motoring show Top Gear.

Video of James Gallaugher scorching the track in a NSW school relay last year made the 12-year-old an internet sensation and prompted comparisons with the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt.

Little Athletics WA had rejected a request from the Melville club to let its new Darwin-born star skip a State championships qualifier so he could run against Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson driving a Nissan GT-R in Sydney on Saturday week.

But on Monday, LAWA agreed James could temporarily transfer to Narrogin Little Athletics to dodge the qualifier and still run in the State titles under rules for country clubs.

A talented rugby league junior with interest from at least four NRL clubs, James' best times for the 100m (11.45sec) and 200m (23.16sec) are faster than Little Athletics Australia records.

The day after moving to Perth to live with his father Steve last month, he broke the Melville club's 34-year-old 200m record held by WA's 1984 Los Angeles Olympian Fred Martin.

Five days later he broke Martin's 33-year-old 100m record and has since lowered both.

Coach Lyn Foreman, who has worked with James for a month, said he was an "absolutely outstanding" talent.

James will return to Perth in time to run in the Australian Junior Athletics Championships at the WA Athletics Stadium on March 12-17.

The West Australian

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