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Can 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton break Usain Bolt’s world record? Who is he?

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Erriyon Knighton

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Florida teenager Erriyon Knighton is unexceptionally fast. He presently owns under-18 and under-20 world 200m records.

Regardless, now the buzz is going around that the young sprinter is likely to break the once thought impossible world record of 200m set by legend Usain Bolt.

Here is everything you need to know.

Erriyon Knighton, an 18-year-old Florida native to beat Usain Bolt’s record

On 30th April, a few months before he turned 18, Erriyon Knighton became the fourth-fastest 200-meter runner in history.

He joined the ranks of Usain Bolt, who is crowned the number one. Bolt is an eight-time Olympic gold medallist in Jamaica. In August 2009 he set the record at the Berlin World Championships by completing the race in only 19.19 seconds.

Bolt’s compatriot, Yohan Blake takes the second position. He was twice awarded a gold medal in the Olympic relay. Blake’s time was clocked at 19.26 seconds in a Brussels Diamond League meet in September 2011. 


USA’s Michael Johnson sits in the third position. He won four Olympic titles. He holds the record of finishing the race in a time of 19.32 seconds.

While the number four may have no Olympic titles to his name yet, Knighton attended the Tokyo Olympics last year where he came in fourth in the 200m at the age of just 17. 

However, a year later, he shocked the world by setting a record of 19.49 seconds which instantly added his name to the list of the world’s fastest legends.

Who is Erriyon Knighton?

When Erriyon Knighton was 14 he was not even thinking of being an athlete.

During an interview with BBC in early 2022, the young sprint sensation said, ‘You could have asked me what 100m was and I wouldn’t have known. I knew nothing about the track.’


Back then, Knighton concentrated only on American football. He played as a wide receiver for Hillsborough High School in Tampa.

However, his aspirations shifted when his coach timed him running over 200m in the freshman year when he was 15.

In 2019, Knighton’s football coach recommended he focus on track and field.

Although he was offered to play football for schools like the University of Alabama, Knighton decided to run professionally in the junior year of his high school.

Now he is gearing up to mark his debut at the World Athletics Championships which will be held in Eugene, Oregon in July 2022.


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