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Carlin Isles brings his speed to American rugby

Dec 14, 2012, 3:24 PM EDT

Carlin-Isles Getty Images

Rugby may not be one of the Big Four American sports (or ten, fifteen, what-have-you), but sprinter turned rugby star Carlin Isles is hoping to change that perception and make the U.S. a feared opponent when the sport debuts in Rio in 2016.

The Ohio native had clocked an impressive personal best of 10.24 seconds in the 100m (10.13 seconds with the wind at his back), but realized he was a long shot to make the U.S. team at June’s track trials. So instead, he skipped Eugene and has spent his time training with the U.S. team in Aspen ever since.

“Rugby fits me perfectly,” Isle told Rugby Magazine. “I love tackling, I love running fast, I love running past people. When I see all the room on the pitch, it’s like Christmas to me.”

The magazine has dubbed Isles “the fastest man in American rugby,” but he’s not all speed: Isles played cornerback at Ashland University and is used to taking people down. He’s joined up with the Atlantis Sevens rugby team as a wing, and hopes his speed can help him get that gold medal he’s been chasing for years.

Check out his speed below: