Secrets to Erriyon Knighton Being the Fastest Teenager Shows Similarity to Usain Bolt’s Running Style

Published 05/14/2022, 8:45 AM EDT
TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 03: Erriyon Knighton of Team United States competes in round one of the Men’s 200m heats on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Sprint sensation Erriyon Knighton is expected to be the next big star, prophesied to break Bolt’s records and become the fastest man alive. Already, he is progressing at an incredible pace than Usain Bolt did at his age, having already beaten his U20 record twice.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Only 18 years old, Knighton set a time of 19.49 seconds in this season’s opener in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Whereas, Bolt’s best by that age was 19.99, half a second longer. This difference is tremendous in the sprinting world. In fact, this is only 0.30 seconds away from the Jamaican’s 200-meters world record of 19.19 that he set in 2009 when he was almost 23.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

What makes Erriyon Knighton so good?

Erriyon Knighton stands a good 6 foot 3 inches tall and has not stopped growing compared to Bolt’s 6 foot 5 inches tall. Perhaps, Knighton matches Bolt using the same criteria that made the Jamaican great. John Regis, agent of Knighton and the 200m record-holder in the UK, has some insights.

“Speed is all about covering ground,” he said“If you’re able to turn your legs at the same rate as somebody who’s 5-foot-9 and I am 6-foot-3, I will always win. And that’s what Erriyon’s able to do. He’s able to generate so much speed and frequency in his long stride.”

EUGENE, OREGON – JUNE 27: Noah Lyles and Erriyon Knighton hug after competing in the Men’s 200 Meter Final during day ten of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 27, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Knighton has a long stride, and he knows how to use it. He ran a few good meters ahead of his competitors at the LSU Invitational and dominated the race. Last year, Knighton finished fourth at the Olympics behind Canada’s Andre de Grasse, America’s Kenny Bednarek, and Noah Lyles. At the Olympic trials, he put up 19.91 seconds in the 200m semi-finals, beating Noah Lyles.

DIVE DEEPER

“Doesn’t Have to Kill Himself Every Week”- US Legend Urges Erriyon Knighton to Not Chase World Records at 18

19 days ago

Additionally, he has a personal best of 10.04 seconds in the 100 meters. Scarily enough, he is just getting started. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Knighton’s 2022 season will be important

Coached by Jonathan Terry, Knighton has his name added to the men’s 100m field at the Prefontaine Classic on May 28. There, he will go up against 100-meter Olympic champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs. Likewise,  Fred Kerley, Christian Coleman, and many other star-studded sprinters will compete. 

TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 03: Erriyon Knighton of Team United States reacts after competing in the Men’s 200m Semi Final on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Depending on his performance at the US Championships in June, he might join the World Athletics Championships. With Lyles already declaring his intention to win, Knighton has a heated competition to look forward to this season. However, as his pursuit of Bolt’s records unfolds this season, Knighton still has a good decade left to make an even bigger mark on the sport.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

“Kid Is Doing Is Lebron-Esque”- NBC Analyst Compares Erriyon Knighton’s Achievement to Lebron James and Serena Williams

15 days ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Mansi Jain

70 articles

Mansi Jain is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has a Bachelor's degree in Multimedia and Mass Communication from the University of Delhi and has also previously interned for HT Media. She is always one mention of Yuzuru Hanyu away from delivering an hour-long speech about the athlete's legacy.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT