International media outlets are hailing Brianna Lyston of St Jago High School as the next Usain Bolt after her sterling performance at the just-concluded ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships at Jamaica’s National Stadium.
Twelve-year-old, Lyston broke the Class Four 200 metre mark twice, taking it down to 23.72 seconds at last week’s meet.
The qualifying standard for the women’s 200m at the Olympics is 23.20 seconds placing the 12- year-old a mere 0.52 seconds outside the international senior qualifying time.
International media outlets DailyMail and Business Insider compared Lyston’s speed to that of track legend Bolt, given her age. Bolt attracted national attention at the same event when he won his first ever medal at the meet.
Lyston’s time of 23.72 seconds was almost one second clear of her closest rival, which the international media said placed it in the context of American Florence Griffith-Joyner’s senior-level world record of 21.34 seconds, set at the 1988 Olympic Games. Bolt’s 200-metre record is 19.19.
Lyston was equally impressive in the 100-metre final where she won in a time of 11.86 seconds, 0.20 seconds clear of the runner-up.
Twenty-eight records were broken at last week’s meet with 16 individual records — seven by boys and nine by the girls. In team action, two relays — the Class Four girls 4x100m and the girls’ Sprint Medley — also saw record marks. (Jamaica Observer)