Teenage US sensation, Erriyon Knighton leaves the sporting world in shock as he became the youngest male to make the US Olympic track and field team in about 60 years while smashing two records along the way.
The 17-year-old finished the men’s 200 meter race in third place to qualify for the summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. His qualification came a day after he dusted his competition in the semifinals with a time of 19.88 seconds.
When put side by side with the then 17 year old Usain Bolt’s record of 19.93 seconds in 2004, the young American achieved a great feat.
Knighton then went ahead to beat his record of the previous day as he finished the 200m at 19.84 seconds, shaving off four extra seconds. Although he came third, the teenager was up against a 23-year-old Noah Lyles, who finished in 19.74 seconds, and a 20-year-old Kenny Bednarek with a 19.78 seconds finish time.
The teenager is a promising young prospect and by all indications has a bright future in the sport. No wonder why he is being tagged the next Usain Bolt.
To show he has the right mindset to pursue this objective of ruling the sprints with his speed, Knighton counts Bolt, Lyles, and retired sprinter and Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson as among his inspirations. There is a sense of his grooming giving him the discipline to forge ahead so as to reach their level and exceed it as he has begun already.
He has done enough to qualify as the youngest American man to make the Olympic track and field squad since Jim Ryun qualified for the 1,500-meter race in 1964, also at the age of 17. He can build on that, with the benefit of youth on his side, to a great career in track and field.