Seventeen-year-old Erriyon Knighton has secured his spot in the USA Olympics team by finishing third – all while beating a Usain Bolt record!
Knighton, from Tampa, Florida, qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics with his impressive performance in the 200m sprint despite only turning professional earlier this year when he signed a deal with Adidas.
During Sunday’s Track & Field Olympic Team Trials, Knighton, who was not due to graduate from high school until next year, ran his 200m with a time of 19.84 seconds placing him in the top spot for the world under-eighteen and under-twenty records, Hypebeast reports.
Knighton’s, who was previously a 4-star football recruit, impressive time also beats a record set by sprinting legend, Usain Bolt. Usain Bolt is widely considered the greatest sprinter of all time after becoming an 8 time Olympic gold medalist. Bolt’s under-eighteen record time sits at 20.13 seconds while his under-twenty record time is 19.93 seconds.
Knighton’s success has been highly praised online with many comparing the seventeen-year-old to Bolt.
One Twitter user tweeted: “Seventeen-year-old Erriyon Knighton from Tampa just ran a 19.88 in the 200 at the Olympic Trials. That’s phenomenal. Usain Bolt phenomenal. He already shattered Bolts U20 record. Kid has transcendent talent. What an Olympic story he’ll be.”
While another added: “I just witnessed Erriyon Knighton run a 19.88 and make the 200m Olympic Trial Final AT SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD WHAT???????”
“Remember his face. He will be the Next @usainbolt Erriyon Knighton. a 17-year-old that broke Bolt’s U18 200m record with 20.11sec. And yesterday he achieved a new Record with 20.04sec. In USATF Trials. CONGRATS,” another user also tweeted.
But despite Knighton beating Bolt’s previous record, he still has a little way to go to beat Bolt’s current record. Bolt’s current 200m record time stands at 19.19 seconds.
As per the NZ Herald, speaking of the success of his performance, Knighton said: “It will probably sink in when I get home. It’s a really big achievement.”
Knighton is now the youngest American male to ever make the U.S. Olympic Track & Field team since Jim Ryun in 1968.
Congratulations! We look forward to seeing him compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic