Erriyon Knighton: The 17-Year-Old Who Broke Usain Bolt’s Junior Record

Erriyon Knighton (image via USATF)

Erriyon Knighton, a 17-year-old sprinter who turned professional in January, broke Usain Bolt’s U18 200m record on Monday night.

Knighton clocked 20.11 seconds at an American Track League meet in Jacksonville, Florida, beating Bolt’s record of 20.13 from 2003.

Athletes can register U18 records through the calendar year that they turn 17. Knighton turned 17 in January, just after he turned pro while a junior at Tampa Hillsborough High School.

Bolt still owns the fastest 200m for a 17-year-old, clocking 19.93 in April 2004, four months before he turned 18. Knighton draws at least one obvious comparison to Bolt — in height. He has been listed as 6 feet, 3 inches, by multiple publications.

Erriyon Knighton (image via USATSI)

Knighton is qualified to race at the U.S. Olympic Trials that start in two weeks. He is younger than any U.S. Olympic male track and field athlete since miler Jim Ryun in 1964, according to Olympedia.org.

Knighton now ranks 13th among Americans in the 200m since the start of 2019, and seventh this year.

Knighton also owns a 100m personal best of 10.16 seconds (into a .3 meter/second headwind), just .01 off the U18 record. It will likely take around 10.00 to finish in the top six at Trials for the Olympic 4x100m relay pool.

Knighton reportedly took up sprinting in his freshman year of high school after his football coach asked him to join the track team. As a wide receiver, he received offers to play for Alabama, Florida and Florida State, according to DyeStat.

You can watch him break Bolt’s record below:

source: nbcsports

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