'Anything's possible': The rugby star who wants to run the 100m in Tokyo

Carlin Isles is rugby's fastest man and mates with American sprint stars Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay, and has a remarkable goal some might think is unachievable.

The 28-year-old, who boasts a personal best of 10.13 seconds in the 100 metres, wants to compete in rugby sevens and on the athletics track at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

"Anything's possible, baby," Isles said. "Track is a little after rugby [in the schedule], so I think it can happen."

There was an American athlete in 1920, exactly 100 years before Isles may try to re-write the record books, who won medals in both rugby and track and field.

Little-known Morris Kirksey claimed silver in the men's 100m before winning a gold medal in the 4x100m relay at the Antwerp Games in 1920.

A few days later he ran out for team USA in a gold-medal rugby match against France, which his side won 8-0.

Granted, only two teams competed in rugby at those Olympics, but nonetheless it is a stellar achievement and one Isles has signalled he would like to match if given the chance in Tokyo.

Ahead of Rio, Isles had every intention of qualifying for the US team to potentially run against Usain Bolt, however, the national sevens team had a camp at the same time, meaning he was unable to achieve his Olympic dream.

Despite edging closer to 30 years old, the larger-than-life speedster is adamant he is getting even quicker.

"I'm in real good shape," Isles said. "I'm ready to put the hammer down and tear it up a little bit.

"I'm always trying to find ways to get faster and get better, so for me my speed is a big attribute to what I do. The faster I get, the better I feel and the more confidence I have.

"I love my speed, man, I'm all about speed."

Isles keeps in contact with his sprinting buddies. There's Gatlin, a gold medallist in the 100m at Athens in 2004, and Gay, the US record-holder in the 100m.

"I talk to him [Gatlin] on a daily basis. He's one of my good friends," Isles said. "Gatlin does like his rugby actually. We talk a little bit about it, but he don't like the no-pads aspect. They think we're crazy but love the sport."

All eyes will be on Isles when he takes the field against Australia on Friday. His ability to run rings around opponents and cause havoc in defensive lines will be a handful for the Australians.

Unfortunately for Australia, there is another superstar on the USA team by the name of Perry Baker.

An American footballer and basketball player who was coerced into trying rugby, Perry conceded he wasn't as quick as Isles but made it clear he wouldn't be too far off the pace in his heyday.

"He can have it," Perry laughed. "I'm older now, though, they didn't wanna race when I was in my prime. When I was 26, I was faster."

Isles said: "I'm faster, of course, but he's fast as well. Perry is a phenomenal athlete, phenomenal rugby player and his IQ is very high. He also pushes me too, so it's good to have another winger that is fast as well. We feed off each other."

According to Australian youngster Lachlan Anderson, his team need not worry, because they possess a speedster confident he can shut down arguably the two fastest men in world rugby.

"Boyd Killingworth has been telling me he'll chase him [Isles] down this weekend," Anderson said. "If he makes a break, look out for Boydy. He reckons he's been hitting speed lately. He's the one to watch."

This story 'Anything's possible': The rugby star who wants to run the 100m in Tokyo first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.