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WATCH: 18-year-old U.S. sprint star becomes fourth fastest man over 200m

Erriyon Knighton, who broke Usain Bolt's junior sprint records at 17, shattered his U20 200m world record in 19.49 seconds

Photo by: Kevin Morris

On Saturday afternoon in Baton Rouge, La., American Erriyon Knighton, who last year, at age 17, broke Usain Bolt’s junior sprint records, shattered his U20 world record in the 200m at the LSU Invite to become the fourth-fastest man in history over 200m. 

Knighton clocked 19.49 seconds, which is the fastest time recorded since the 2012 Olympics, where Usain Bolt clocked 19.32 at age 25. Knighton now only trails Bolt (19.19s), Yohan Blake (19.26s) and Michael Johnson (19.32s) on the all-time list.

The 18-year-old sprint star lowered his personal best and U20 record from 19.84 seconds, which he set at last year’s U.S.Olympic Trials. He went on to finish fourth in Tokyo, becoming the youngest U.S. male track and field runner to reach an Olympic final.

Knighton turned pro last year as a high school junior, signing a professional contract with Adidas. He is now the second-fastest American 200m runner after Johnson’s then-world record of 19.32 at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

He will next have his eyes on the U.S. Outdoor Championships in June and the World Championships in July, which are both in Eugene, Ore., where he ran his previous PB of 19.84 seconds last summer.

Another world U20 record was broken on Saturday at the Gaborone International Meet, a World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meeting in Botswana. U20 world champion Letsile Tebogo became the first man from Botswana to break 10 seconds for 100m. The 18-year-old pulled away from an experienced international field to win in 9.96 seconds (+1.9m/s), taking 0.01 off Trayvon Bromell’s world U20 record of 9.97 set in 2014.