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18-year-old sprinter breaks world junior 100m record

In his international debut, Suriname's Issam Asinga became the first South American athlete to run sub-10 in the 100m

Issam Asinga buffington Photo by: Kevin Morris

In a remarkable debut on the international stage, 18-year-old Issam Asinga of Suriname stunned the athletics world on Friday, shattering the U20 100m world record at the South American Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Asinga clocked an impressive 9.89 seconds with a tailwind of (-0.8m/s) to become the first South American sprinter to break the 10-second barrier in the 100m.

Asinga’s blazing run surpassed the previous record of 9.91 seconds set by Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo at last year’s World U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, and also broke the South American area record, bettering the 10.00 mark set by Brazil’s Robson da Silva in 1988.

To make his record more impressive, his time was run at altitude, as Sao Paulo sits nearly 800m above sea level. Asinga’s new record also sparred other fast times in the field, with Brazil’s Erik Cardoso breaking the Brazilian national record for silver in 9.97. 

The 18-year-old sprint phenom has made headlines in the 2023 season, running for Montverde Academy near Orlando, Fla. Earlier this year, he beat world champion Noah Lyles in a 100m race to break the U.S. high school record, and a week later, broke Lyles’s 200m high school record in 19.97 seconds. 

Issam Asinga smashes Noah Lyles’s American high school 200m record

Asinga’s sights are now on the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest this August, where he will run the sprint double. After worlds, Asinga will head to Texas A&M University in the NCAA on a full track and field scholarship. His exceptional talent runs in the family. His father, Tommy Asinga, holds multiple national records for Suriname and represented the country at three Olympic Games (1988, 1992 and 1996).


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