One year after winning World Athletics’ Men’s Rising Star Award, American teenage sprinter Erriyon Knighton is again among the nominees for the honor that recognizes the world’s best U20 track and field athlete of the year.
Knighton, 18, took 200m bronze at the world championships on July 21 in Eugene, Oregon, becoming the youngest individual sprint medalist in championships history. He was part of a U.S. medals sweep with Noah Lyles and Kenny Bednarek.
That came three months after Knighton ran a 19.49-second 200m to become, at the time, the fourth-fastest man in history. Lyles went even faster to win worlds (19.31), pushing Knighton to fifth all-time.
Last year, Knighton broke junior sprint records held by Usain Bolt and became the youngest U.S. male track and field Olympian since miler Jim Ryun in 1964. He finished fourth in the 200m in Tokyo.
Knighton also made the Time 100 Next list announced Sept. 28, along with 17-year-old figure skater Ilia Malinin.
Knighton is up for the Men’s Rising Star Award along with French pole vaulter Anthony Ammirati, Jamaican triple jumper Jaydon Hibbert, Botswanan sprinter Letsile Tebogo and Kenyan 800m runner Emmanuel Wanyonyi.
Knighton can become the first person to win multiple Rising Star Awards. It was added to the annual World Athletics award list in 2005 and separated into men’s and women’s awards in 2010.
The Women’s Rising Star Award nominees are Kenyan steeplechasers Jackline Chepkoech and Faith Cherotich, South African shot putter Mine De Klerk, Jamaican sprinter Kerrica Hill and Serbian javelin thrower Adriana Vilagos.
The award winners will be selected by an international panel of experts and announced on World Athletics’ social media in early December.
American Athing Mu won last year’s women’s award after taking the Olympic 800m title. Mu, then 19, was the youngest U.S. woman to win individual Olympic track and field gold since Wyomia Tyus in the 100m at the 1964 Tokyo Games.
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