Faster than Bolt. The phenom from Tampa is breaking records, but he just wants to become a better soccer player

He caused quite a stir in the world of athletics over the weekend. American sprinter Erriyon Knighton ran 200th in a time of 19.49 at the age of 18. With fantastic form, he broke his own junior world record and is now almost half a second faster than Usain Bolt in certain age categories. It was far from the first time he had beaten the Jamaican.

Prior to Saturday’s encounter in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Knighton already held the junior world record in the 200-metre sprint (19.84), but he was able to hit another 35 hundredths from last year’s appearance, when he was still running in the under-18 category.

With a time of 19.49, he even ranks fourth in the complete history table of two hundred. Behind Bolt (19.19), Yohan Blake (19.26) and Michael Johnson (19.32).

The world’s media immediately dismissed the “New Bolt” connection in the headlines, and while comparisons to the 21st century’s greatest athletic phenomenon may seem a bit cheap, it has solid foundations here.

Already last year, Knighton broke Bolt’s record for the 200 meters in the Under-18 category (20.13). And he moved it seven times. He raised his best time to 19.84 on Eugene in June, after all, he just improved this personal best.

Another comparison to the Jamaica Lightning? Before turning 20, Bolt ran the fastest in 19.93. The Tampa native is now 44 hundred faster, and he will still be competing as a junior next year.

In the 100, Knighton is second in the under-18 world rankings (10.16), ninth in the history of the under-20 standings (10.04 – this time the run the day before the sensational 200 with 19.49), but he doesn’t look specialty there.

“My main song is 200,” Knighton was clear in 2020, when he broke the American school record with the colors of Hillsborough High School. Even though he just started pursuing athletics and running when he entered high school in 2019.

When his coach made him visit the Oval as a freshman, Knighton thought athletic training would help him become a better soccer player. Until then, he had played American football as a receiver, where speed was the main requirement.

However, with her athletic success, she changed her mind about a career on the court.

He already compared himself to Bolt two years ago in one of his interviews. “My running style is very similar to his. Maybe it’s because we’re the same height,” said Knighton, actually four inches shorter.

He worked hard on himself during the strict restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. “I still work out and strengthen, even though I don’t like it. I can’t jog with my team, so I lift weights a lot,” says the sixteen-year-old athlete.

The preparation paid off a year later when Knighton qualified for the Olympics. At seventeen, he became the youngest athlete in the United States since 1964 and was Jim Ruyn’s endurance.

In Tokyo, she controlled her heat and semifinals, finishing fourth in the medal event with a time of 19.93. He was behind Andre De Grasse of Canada who won by a margin of 31 hundred, and 19 hundredths separated him from bronze compatriot Noah Lyles.

Knighton could win her first major medal among adults at the World Championships, which will be held in her favorite city, Eugene, this July. It’s certain the 200 will be closely watched there.

Roderick Glisson

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