Usain Bolt to train Rotorua teen

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Sprinter Molly Florence from Rotorua. Photo / APN
Sprinter Molly Florence from Rotorua. Photo / APN

A rising teenage athletics star will get the chance to meet and train with the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt.

John Paul College student Molly Florence will take part in a training experience of a lifetime - she is one of eight Kiwi track and field athletes, considered rising sporting stars, selected for a special coaching clinic with Bolt in Auckland next week.

Not only will she get to meet the Olympic gold medallist, she will also be coached by her sporting idol.

Molly, 16, is running in New Caledonia at her first meet of the season and is due back in New Zealand on Sunday.

Mum Rosie Florence said her daughter idolised Bolt so much that she had a life-sized cardboard cut-out of him in her bedroom.

Her mum said Molly wrote to the manager of Countdown to see if she could have the life-sized cutout of Bolt, which had been on display in the store, when they had finished with it.

It now stands proudly in Molly's bedroom, she said.

The 16-year-old had known for two weeks she had been selected for the training clinic and couldn't wait to meet him, Mrs Florence said.

"She's absolutely so super excited about meeting him. She hasn't been able to say anything to anyone about it ... she has him in her bedroom. There's not many men we let into her bedroom but I think she is safe with this one."

Both she and Molly's dad, Darren Florence, are very proud of their daughter, who has been in training after being selected for the Kiwi team heading to the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

"She's just a kid who is really blessed. She's just been chosen as head girl at JPC next year. She's a kid with the world at her feet," Mrs Florence said.

Bolt is expected to leave the training session by helicopter.

Athletics New Zealand and Gatorade have joined forces to host the training clinic at AUT Millennium on the North Shore on Monday.

Athletics New Zealand chief executive Scott Newman said they had selected some of the country's leading sprinters to take part in Monday's coaching clinic with Bolt.

The Jamaican sprinter is widely regarded as the faster person ever and has been running since he began school, going on to win three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and three in the London Olympics this year, including one team relay gold in which he broke the world record for his time.

"It's rare to have the chance to get close to such a world-class athlete ... those involved will benefit greatly from the experience," Mr Newman said.

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