A 12-year-old Jamaican sprinter blazed a path to glory after she twice ran faster than the previous record in the Class Four 200m sprint at the 2017 Boys and Girls Championships.
Brianna Lyston has drawn comparisons with her legendary compatriot Usain Bolt after running 23.72 seconds in the 200m sprint final in Jamaica’s capital city Kingston.
Her timing is just about two seconds shy of the senior world record set (21.23 secs) by USA’s Florence Griffith Joyner in the 1988 Olympic Games in South Korea.
However it was faster than the meet record which had already previously bettered with a sub-24 performance in the second heat of the semifinal. The previous meet record was 24.21 seconds set by Joanne Reid in 2015.
Lyston also ran 11.86 seconds in the 100m sprint, also in the Class Four category.
The categories are the age group standards at the meet where Class Four for girls is for under-13, Class Three for boys is under-14, Class Three for girls is under-15, and Class Two for boys is under 16.
Lyston has been in the limelight since the age of 10. She clocked 42.41 seconds in the 300m sprint at the Caribbean Union Teachers Championships in Trinidad and Tobago in 2015, which was over a second faster than the winner of the boys’ race at the same meet.
Bolt wasn’t considered as developed a sprinter at the same age because he played several sports rather than focus solely on athletics.
However, the multiple world record holder had won his first annual high school championships medal in the same event in 2001. He had run 22.04 seconds in the 200m sprint to take silver then.