'Hard to believe': Usain Bolt 'heir' stuns in 'crazy' Olympic feat

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Seen here, Erriyon Knighton cruises to victory in his 200m heat at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Erriyon Knighton made it look easy as he cruised to victory in his 200m heat at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Pic: Getty

American teen sprint sensation Erriyon Knighton has lived up to his tag as the "heir" to Usain Bolt's throne after an extraordinary display in the 200m heats at the Olympic Games on Tuesday.

Making his Games debut at the tender age of 17, Knighton made it look easy as he strolled to victory in his heat, posting a time of 20.55 seconds.

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Knighton is joined in the semi-finals by the other two Americans in the event - Kenneth Bednarek and reigning 200m champion Noah Lyles, who posted times of 20.01 and 20.18 respectively.

While Knighton wasn't as fast as his compatriots, he clearly took his foot off the pedal towards the end of the race, when victory was all but assured - indicating he has plenty more speed to burn.

The comparisons to Bolt are understandable considering the 17-year-old has already beaten two of the Jamaican legend's junior records this year.

In June, the American teen sensation left the athletics world gobsmacked after bettering his second Bolt record in less than one month.

The 17-year-old - who ran 20.11 to break Bolt's World U18 record of 20.13 - went even faster in the semi-finals of the 200m sprint at the US Olympic trials.

Knighton signalled his intention in the first round with a then-personal best of 20.04 to beat world champion Lyles, who ran 20.19.

But the former college football star set another stunning personal best in the semi-finals - clocking an astonishing 19.88 to break Jamaican Olympic legend Bolt's 19.93 world junior record.

The young sprinter put the world on notice after eclipsing an U/18 record held by Bolt in May.

Knighton ran down Olympic 100m favourite Trayvon Bromell on the straight to win the 200m meet in a stunning 20.11 seconds, shaving 0.02 seconds off the time Bolt recorded in 2003.

Seen here, Erriyon Knighton in his 200m heat at the Olympic Games.
Erriyon Knighton showed tremendous speed to win his 200m heat at the Olympic Games. Pic: Getty

Erriyon Knighton could be new Usain Bolt

On Tuesday in Tokyo, Channel Seven commentator Bruce McAvaney couldn't resist the opportunity to ponder the youngster's seemingly limitless potential.

"Some say he’s the apparent to you know who," McAvaney enthused.

Many viewers agreed with the sentiment, taking to social media to hail Knighton's extraordinary achievement in his Olympic debut.

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