Athletics world erupts after teenager breaks Usain Bolt record

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Erriyon Knighton broke his own 200m record to record the fourth fastest time in history. Pic: Getty/Twitter
Erriyon Knighton broke his own 200m record to record the fourth fastest time in history. Pic: Getty/Twitter

American teen sprint sensation Erriyon Knighton has left the athletics world gobsmacked after clinching an incredible piece of history that's sparked more comparisons with Usain Bolt.

The 18-year-old once again lowered Bolt's junior world record and beat his own U/20 world mark of 19.84sec in a scorching run at the Baton Rouge meet in the United States on Saturday.

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Knighton blitzed the field to run home first in a staggering 19.49 seconds, setting the fourth fastest time in the history of the event in the process.

Knighton will have his sights set on the world outdoor championships in Eugene, Oregon, (July 15-24) provided he comes though the qualifiers (June 23-26) at the same venue.

The American made headlines around the world last year when he ran an astonishing 19.88 to break Jamaican Olympic legend Bolt's 19.93 world junior record.

He then finished fourth in the 200m final behind Canada's Andre de Grasse at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

However, Knighton's time over the weekend is way ahead of where Bolt was at prior to turning 20 - with the eight-time Olympic gold medallist clocking 19.93sec.

American 18-year-old sprinter Erriyon Knighton has drawn irresistible comparisons to Jamaican legend Usain Bolt. Pic: Getty
American 18-year-old sprinter Erriyon Knighton has drawn irresistible comparisons to Jamaican legend Usain Bolt. Pic: Getty

Bolt only managed to breach the 19.5 mark at the age of 21 - leaving Knighton in a league of his own at such a tender age.

The 18-year-old's time blitzed those of sprint legends Carl Lewis and Tommy Smith and places him behind only Jamaica's world record holder Bolt (19.19sec), another Jamaican Yohan Blake (19.26) and American Michael Johnson (19.32) as the fastest men ever over 200m.

Knighton's 19.49 seconds once again lowers Bolt's previous junior world record, which the American himself bettered last year.

Athletics world hails Erriyon Knighton feat

The astonishing effort has lit up social media, with the athletics world excited for what the future holds for the sport's brightest young star.

with agencies

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