Seventeen-year-old track star Erriyon Knighton secured his spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, breaking Usain Bolt’s record times – again.
Knighton of Tampa, Florida, set a new world record during the Track & Field Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Oregon. His 200m time of 19.84 seconds puts him in the top spot for the world under-18 and under-20 records surpassing the sprinting legend Usain Bolt‘s under-18 and under-20 record times of 20.13 seconds and 19.93 seconds, respectively.
Knighton still has some milliseconds to shave off his time before reaching Bolt’s current 200m record time of 19.19 but is in a good position. Bolt did not reach the 19.84-second mark until he was almost 21 years old. Knighton is far from his peak and is likely to surpass this PR before 21.
Knighton will be joining U.S. Olympic teammates Kenny Bednarek and Noah Lyles in Tokyo. Knighton is now the youngest American male ever to make the U.S. Olympic Track & Field team since Jim Ryun, who was also 17, ran the 1500m in 1968.
“Erriyon Knighton (17) will be the youngest American man to compete in track and field at the Olympics since Jim Ryun in the 1500 meter race in 1964.” 🤯 https://t.co/o0nbw093JD
— Coach Joe Stokowski (@CoachStokowski) June 28, 2021
Knighton’s teammates aren’t to be reckoned with either. Twenty-year-old Noah Lyles, who did not qualify for the 100-meter dash, came in with a world-leading 19.74 to win the men’s 200 meters finals. He was the 2019 world 200-meter champion and showed the world he still has it.
In a post-run interview, Lyles said, “I don’t think anybody can prepare you for the lion you have to slay at the Olympic trials,” Lyles said after qualifying for Tokyo. “This is the hardest team to make, and everybody here shows it.”
Bednarek, the first Iowa junior college athlete to qualify for the U.S. Olympics team, ran a season-best 19.78 to place second in the 200-meter finals.
Can we appreciate how insanely fast this 200m final was….
19.74 – Noah Lyles
19.78 – Kenny Bednarek
19.84 – Erriyon Knighton
19.90 – Fred Kerleypic.twitter.com/p2w9RGyQCd
— Travis Miller (@TravisMillerFlo) June 28, 2021