Huge potential: Kyrah Scraders after winning the Front Street Mile in January. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
Huge potential: Kyrah Scraders after winning the Front Street Mile in January. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead

She’s already one of our most promising — and most popular — young athletes.

But the appearance of softly-spoken Kyrah Scraders at the Government’s annual sports awards belies a 16-year-old who knows exactly where she wants to go.

Named Female Junior Athlete of the Year for the second successive year, ‘Special K’ as she is fondly known, already has her sights set on the biggest stage of all — the Olympics.

“I want to be an Olympic runner,” Scraders told the Bermuda Sun.

“It would be special even if I don’t medal or place, I just want to run. I’ll have just turned 19 by Rio in 2016. I think it’s realistic, I think I could do it.”

To do that, Scraders knows exactly what she has to do,
reeling off her current 800m
PB of 2min 08 sec and explaining how that must be reduced to 2:01 just to qualify for
Brazil.

It’s all been thought through. Breaking 2:08 will get her to the World Juniors in Oregon later this year, while she wants to clock 2:05 by the end of 2014 and 2:01 by the time she goes to college.

The Berkeley Institute student will compete in this year’s Carifta Games in the 1,500m and 800m and the pressure is on to repeat last year’s gold. Special K, though, is not one to let outside influences affect her focus — a little like her hero Usain Bolt.

She said: “When I first went to Carifta in Jamaica in 2011, I was just excited to run, I wasn’t nervous like the other people. 

“I came third and when I run I just block people out so I don’t hear them. I have tunnel vision.”

“It means a lot to represent Bermuda,” she added. 

“Especially knowing you have Bermuda behind your back.

“At the Carifta this year I think people are going to expect me to win again since I did [last time] but people from other countries have got better so I have to work hard and get better — it’s not easy.”

Scraders’ best memory from her burgeoning career came last year in Ukraine, where she broke the national 800m record at the World Youths in Ukraine.

And while race day gets her competitive juices flowing, it’s clear Scraders, who is coached by Jarita Vickers, is also motivated by a pure love of running.

“I started running when I was seven,” she said. “I started with Bermuda pacers. I like it a lot — I don’t think I ever want to quit. It’s just in my blood. When I run I don’t hear anybody, I’m just focused on the race.  And especially when I get a new PB, it makes me work even harder to go faster and faster.”