17-Year Old American Prodigy Erriyon Knighton Creates History in Men’s 200m Semifinals at Tokyo Olympics

Published 08/03/2021, 9:34 AM EDT


High school student Erriyon Knighton made headlines in June 2021 after his impressive displays at the US Olympic trials in Oregon. The young sprinted registered his name in track and field history books with a record-shattering time in the under-20s 200m event.

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Knighton crossed the finish line in the 42°C heat with an unbelievable time of 19.84 seconds. In doing so, Knighton gained global recognition because he had surpassed the timing of legendary Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt. The now-retired track star previously held the under-20s 200m record with a timing of 19.93s way back in 2004.

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Knighton was a hot prospect heading into this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games which began in July. He was tipped as an outside contender to make the men’s 200m finals along with Team USA’s Kenny Bednarek and Noah Lyles. Well, it’s safe to say that kid flash achieved that milestone on Tuesday.

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Erriyon Knighton cruises his way to the men’s 200m final at Tokyo Olympics

Hillsborough High School student Erriyon Knighton officially qualified for the men’s 200m final event at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 earlier today. The Florida-based youngster clocked a time of 20.02 en route to finishing first in the men’s 200m semifinal.

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Knighton continually glanced all around the field as he sprinted down the final straight. Jamaica’s Rasheed Dwyer finished 2nd behind the teenager. He will join Erriyon in the final in the coming days.

In semi-final 2, Knighton’s compatriot Noah Lyles was one course to win but leant back on the finish line to come third. Canada’s Aaron Brown finished 1st and Liberia’s Joseph Fahnbulleh finished second. All three athletes put up a time of 19.99. In such a scenario, Lyles guaranteed his place in the final as the quickest loser in the semis.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 17: Andre de Grasse of Canada (L) and Usain Bolt of Jamaica (C) react as they compete in the Men’s 200m Semifinals on Day 12 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Another Canadian, Andre de Grasse (who won bronze in the men’s 100m event earlier this week), ran 19.73 to finish first. This was his personal best and the fastest timing put up by any of the semi-finalists in Tokyo this year. All eyes will be on De Grasse, Knighton and Lyles, as they battle it out for gold. You can’t afford to miss this one.

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Daniel Arambur

1782 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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