At just 17-years-old, Erriyon Knighton has a chance to win a gold medal.
Knighton, the youngest US male track Olympian since Jim Ryun in 1964, advanced to the 200m finals in Tokyo after winning his heat with a time of 20.02 seconds.
He became the youngest male Olympian to make the 200m final in 37 years and also bested Usain Bolt’s under-20 world record time of 20.13, which had stood for 18 years.
Jamaica’s Rasheed Dwyer, who finished with a time of 20.13, will join Knighton in Wednesday’s finals along with Andre De Grasse, Kenny Bednarek, Jareem Richards, Aaron Brown, Joseph Fahnbulleh and Noah Lyles.
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Knighton also accounted for the fastest time in the semifinal round of the men’s 200m at the U.S. Olympic trials, with a personal best of 19.88 seconds.
The Americans last won gold in the men’s 200m at the 2004 Olympics, when Shawn Crawford brought home the top prize. Knighton appears poised at ending that losing streak.
“He has so much untapped talent. We haven’t even touched the surface yet,” Knighton’s high school coach Jonathan Terry told reporters. “He’s 17 years old so we’re thinking about when you’re 25 years old, your second Olympics, you’re going to do something special, especially being compared to the great Usain Bolt.”
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