American junior standouts Erriyon Knighton and Justin Robinson continue to show highlighting signs of progression ahead of the U.S. Olympic Trials later this month with a pair of quality victories at the American Track League Duval Challenge in Jacksonville, Florida, Monday night.
Knighton Breaks Usain Bolt Record
Knighton, who turned 17-years-old in January, produced a new personal best of 20.11 seconds to set a new world Under-18 200m best, breaking Usain Bolt’s previous record from back in 2003.
Already labeled as a future world star, the teenage sensation who entered the World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meeting on Monday night with a personal best of 20.30s, made another step up in class by putting away a strong field.
Knighton’s winning time bettered the previous career best he set at the 2021 USATF Golden Games in Walnut, Calif., last month, and he’s plans to take this form into the U.S. Olympic Trials, which runs from June 18 – 27, at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
“It feels good [winning against the seniors]. I feel like I came out here and executed, and that’s how I won the race,” Knighton, who turned professional at the start of this year, told ESPN in his post-race interview.
“I plan to go [to the trials] but for right now I am just going to keep training and training,” added the Florida-native who also has the fastest U18 100m time this season with a personal best of 10.16s (-0.3m/s).
Knighton has also posted wind-aided times of 9.99 (+2.7m/s) and 10.07 (+2.1m/s) for the 100m this season.
Robinson Runs SB In Jacksonville
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Robinson, has been steadily moving up the rankings this term, following his 45.00 seconds, runner-up performance in the men’s 400m behind Michael Cherry (44.74s).
Robinson, who owns a personal best of 44.84 from 2019, was running his third fastest time ever over the 400m and his quickest so far in 2021. His time is also the second best by a junior this year behind the 44.71 performance from Johnnie Blockburger in Tucson, Ariz., on April 10.
Prior to his seasonal best in American Track League Duval Challenge, Robinson race 45.23, 45.55, and 45.38. His year-best is the 18th fastest overall on the 2021 400m top list.