Erriyon Knighton, 17-Year-Old Track Phenom, Breaks Usain Bolt’s Youth Record

He’s punched his ticket to Tokyo in the 200 meter race.

Erriyon Knighton, a 17-year-old Florida native, has become a wunderkind on the U.S. Track and Field team and did so by breaking a record that had been held by the world’s fastest man.

He placed third in the men’s 200-meter final at the Olympic trials on Sunday (June 27), but perhaps more impressive was him breaking Usain Bolt’s youth record during the race.

Knighton is also believed to be the youngest American man to make the Olympic track and field team since Jim Ryun in 1964, USA Today reports.

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Knighton posted a 19.88 in his semifinal heat at the trials, beating Bolt’s under-20 world record he achieved in 2004.

“It’s only my third season running track,” the track star told Track & Field News earlier this year. “I’ve been extremely successful in both training and competition. I believe if I work hard, I will eventually develop to be a world-class athlete. I’m soaking it all up, all the knowledge.”

Sunday’s run is the second time that Knighton has broken a Bolt youth record. Earlier this month, he ran the 200M in 20.11 seconds that bested Bolt’s under-18 record set in 2003.

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