Every aspiring sprinter dreams to reach the same heights as legendary Olympian Usain Bolt. Now, in a dream come true moment, American youngster, Erriyon Knighton, has surpassed not one but two of Bolt’s world records in 2021.
At 17, Erriyon Knighton had a terrific season, from a maiden Olympics appearance to breaking untouched world records. Surprisingly, the American rising star started his sprinting journey in 2019, having given up his footballing career.
Knighton broke Usain Bolt records
From speed to height, Knighton shares an uncanny resemblance to Bolt. The 8-time Olympic medalist had two long-standing junior world records in 200m which he had clocked in 2003 and 2004.
Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts as he wins the Olympic mens 200m final in a new world record time in the Birds Nest stadium, Beijing on August 20th 2008 in Beijing, China (Photo by Tom Jenkins/Getty Images). An image from the book “In The Moment” published June 2012
Remarkably, Erriyon broke both the records in 2021, a feat no one has reached in decades. During an athletic meet in Florida, he clocked a time of 20.11 seconds breaking Bolt’s 200m under 18-record. Astonishingly, he bettered his performance in the Olympic trials and surpassed Bolt’s other record in under-20 by running 19.88 seconds.
Finishing third in the Olympic trials, Knighton qualified for his first-ever mega quadrennial games. Erriyon is young, but he proved his potential, finishing in fourth place in the 200m race at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
2021 has been an eventful and record-breaking year for one of the youngest American track and field Olympians. After breaking Bolt’s record in the under-18 category, he broke his own record three times. He started with 20.11 seconds and finally recorded his best performance with 19.84 seconds.
Erriyon Knighton quit football and has gone on to break two of Usain Bolt’s youth records
In just his third track season, Knighton will become the youngest U.S. male Olympian since Jim Ryun in 1964 after qualifying in the 200-meter
(h/t Florida Today) pic.twitter.com/QuSKEaYfKM
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 29, 2021
In the under-20 category as well, he first broke Bolt’s record with 19.88 seconds, and then his own with 19.84 seconds. While he has a stronghold in 200m events, he has proved his Bolt-like versatile spirit, by his 100m achievements. In 2021, he also clocked a 10.19 seconds time in the 100m race.
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates after he wins gold during the Men’s 200m Final on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Breaking world records consecutively in 2021, Knighton has proved he is unstoppable. Do you think the young star can next beat Usain Bolt’s fastest time?