Erriyon Knighton, a 17-year-old sprinter from Florida, US, has done the unthinkable. He has broken Usain Bolt’s 200m junior record at an American Track League meet. That’s not it, he ran down Olympic 100m favourite Trayvon Bromell on the straight to win the 200m meet in a stunning 20.11 seconds which is 0.02 seconds better off Usain Bolt’s time which was set in 18 years back in 2003. To put it into context, Bromwell, 25, ran his best 200m time since 2015 and still fell short of the teenager.
Wait, there’s more. It wasn’t even a wind-assisted run either, making his feat even more special.
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) June 1, 2021
“I’ve definitely got to respect them, top of the world," the teenager said after the race.
With a time of 9.88 seconds in the 100m, Bromell is the fastest man on the earth this year, but after crossing the line in the 200m in 20.20, he has to play second fiddle to Knighton.
💨 Knighton dethrones Bolt’s World U18 Best @ErriyonK clocked 20.11, a new @WorldAthletics U18 best performance (pending) in the 200m, breaking @usainbolt‘s 20.13 set in 2003!⏱ https://t.co/qnjTCxuiKb @americantrack pic.twitter.com/fi7vGPplC3
— USATF (@usatf) June 1, 2021
The field also included a pair of Britons: Zharnel Hughes (who took gold at the 2018 European championships) and Adam Gemili (fourth at the 2016 Olympics and 2019 worlds).
Knighton’s time is consistent with his track record of breaking records in every age category in which he has competed. At the AAU Junior Olympic Games last year, he was the fastest junior on the planet in the 200m even
With this result, Knighton has qualified to compete in this month’s American Olympic trials. US Olympic trials that start in two weeks at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. He is younger than any US Olympic male track and field athlete since miler Jim Ryun in 1964, according to Olympedia.org.
The Tampa Hillsborough High School only turned professional after completeing his school and the former high school footballer, who played at wide receiver for his school, was only pushed into athletics when his coach told him to give it a shot. With just two years’ experience he has achieved this unthinkable feet.
The high school student was snapped up by apparel giants Adidas with a rich deal before he even turned 17.