12-Year-Old Jamaican Sprinter Hailed As Next Usain Bolt After Record Setting 200M Race

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Jamaica may finally have found a successor to sprint legend Usain Bolt, after 12-year-old Brianna Lyston produced an astonishing display of sprinting at the 2017 Boys and Girls Championships.

In a style reminiscent of Olympic champion Bolt, Lyston swept all before her in the 100-meter and 200-meter events.

Lyston became the first under-13 athlete to run a sub-24-second time at the Champs. Sadly, her devastating run of 23.46 seconds in the 200 semifinal was wind-aided, with the wind speed at +2.2 meters per second. But, she continued her astonishing form unperturbed in the final to set a wind-legal record of 23.72.

The 12-year-old’s times are only a little more than two seconds off the women’s 200 world record, set back in 1988, and saw Lyston a whopping near-full second clear of her nearest rival in the final.

Lyston made the most of her Lane-4 draw and had made up the stagger on Tina Clayton outside her in Lane 5 after less than 50 meters. Clayton would end up in second.

The young Jamaican is ahead of the development curve set by eight-time Olympic champion Bolt in his own youth. Bolt, 30, is planning to retire after the 2017 World Championships in London.

Brianna’s mother, Toya Bennett, speaking from her home in Portmore, Jamaica, told The Telegraph: “I’m so proud of her. It was just fantastic to watch. She always trains very hard and when she came off the track, she just felt great.”

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