A Black teenager from Florida broke the 200-meter record of track legend Usain Bolt at the American Track League meet on May 31.
Erriyon Knighton won the U18 race with a time of 20.1, surpassing Bolt’s 2003 record by just 0.02 seconds, according to NBC Sports.
The 17-year-old student now ranks seventh among Americans in the 200m of this year and 13th since the beginning of 2019.
Knighton beat a record that included Olympic 100m star Trayvon Bromell, who came second in 20.2; British runner, Zharnel Hughes who broke Jamaican High School sprint records seven years ago; and another British sprinter, Adam Gemili which came fourth at the 2016 Olympics and 2019 Worlds.
Knighton is now qualified to race at the U.S. Olympic Trials that start in two weeks.
The top three at Trials are in line to make up the Olympic team. The top sprinters have separated themselves, that being: Noah Lyles, Kenny Bednarek, and Terrance Lairdare, the world’s three fastest men since the beginning of 2020, and all have run 19.81 or faster.
Knighton also owns a 100m personal best of 10.16 seconds (into a .3 meter/second headwind), just .01 off the U18 record.
According to HH Today, Knighton reportedly took up sprinting in his freshman year of high school after his football coach asked him to join the track team.
Knighton said he doesn’t love running, but he likes it.
“If you want to get better, you have to enjoy the training part too, as much as you like running,” he said.
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The young track star said he has plenty of self-motivation and thinks it would be much harder for him to keep working if he didn’t.
He also mentioned that his haters are his motivators. Knighton said, “Some people don’t know what’s going on — they think I dropped out of high school, but I be here every day,” he said. “They’re looking from the outside in. At the end of the day, they really just help me. I feed off of stuff like that.”