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Erriyon Knighton running toward ‘amazing things’ after strong Olympic 200

U.S. sprinter Erriyon Knighton, right, and Qatar's Femi Ogunode race to the finish line in a men's 200-meter semifinal.
U.S. sprinter Erriyon Knighton, right, and Qatar’s Femi Ogunode race to the finish line in a men’s 200-meter semifinal at the Olympics on Wednesday.
(Petr David Josek / Associated Press)

The youngest member of the United States track and field team came to the Olympics with more than a desire to gain experience.

Sprinter Erriyon Knighton, 17, wanted to earn a medal.

“That was my goal from the start,” he said. “Make the podium.”

Knighton fell short of that goal. He finished fourth in the men’s 200 meters in 19.93 seconds

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But Knighton was not that far behind gold-medal winner Andre De Grasse’s mark of 19.62 seconds.

Sydney McLaughlin wins gold for the U.S. in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics. U.S. teammate Dalilah Muhammad is second.

“He’s going to be dangerous in the future,” said silver medalist Kenny Bednarek, who finished in 19.68 seconds. “Seventeen years old and being able to run this fast, he’s raw, he’s got a lot of talent and lot of things to work on, and he’s definitely going to be a monster in the future.”

Bronze medal winner Noah Lyles agreed.

“’I’m very proud of him,” said Lyles, who finished in 19.74 seconds. “I tell him all that all the time he’s coming out here and he’s coming to win. He got fourth… but that doesn’t mean he’ll get fourth tomorrow, or the next day after that if he keeps pushing.

“I believe he’s right down the road to even more amazing things.”

Knighton, who has already turned pro, will return to Florida for his senior year and “hopefully find a place to go to college” after he graduates.

“Get the education part of it,” he said, “because sprinting doesn’t last forever.”


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