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by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer
Jamaica is known to have some of the fastest athletes in the world. Remember a few years ago when headlines after headlines would talk about the 12 year old Jamaican sprinter? Those were about the Jamaican sprinter headed for fame, Brianna Lyston.
At the 2017 Boys and Girls Championships in Jamaica, Brianna Lyston broke the 200-meter sprint record, and as a result of her accomplishment, she has been compared to the great Usain Bolt.
After breaking the previous record twice in the Class Four 200-meter sprint at the 2017 Boys and Girls Championships, the 12-year-old Jamaican sprinter blazed a path to glory.
After finishing first in the 200-meter sprint final in Kingston, Jamaica, in 23.72 seconds, Brianna Lyston drew comparisons to her illustrious countryman Usain Bolt.
Her timing came up just two seconds short of Florence Griffith Joyner of the United States, who set the senior world record in the 1988 Olympic Games in South Korea (21.23 secs).
Although it was quicker than the meet record, which had already been surpassed by a sub-24 performance in the semifinal's second heat. Joanne Reid's time of 24.21 seconds in 2015 served as the previous meet record.
Lyston completed the 100-meter sprint in 11.86 seconds, also in the Class Four division, which was super impressive for her age.
The age group standards for the competition are Class Four for girls under the age of 13, Class Three for boys under the age of 14, Class Three for girls under the age of 15, and Class Two for boys under the age of 16.
Since she was ten years old, Lyston has been in the spotlight. She finished the 300-meter sprint at the 2015 Caribbean Union Teachers Championships in Trinidad and Tobago in 42.41 seconds, over a second faster than the male winner of the same competition.
At the same age, Bolt wasn't regarded as a fully developed sprinter because he participated in various sports rather than concentrating solely on athletics.
However, the multiple world record holder had taken home his first medal at the annual high school championships in the same competition in 2001. He had won silver in the 200-meter sprint with a time of 22.04 seconds.
After committing to Louisiana State University (LSU), the now 18-year-old Jamaican sprinting prodigy, Brianna Lyston, will compete in the NCAA in the upcoming season.
Lyston, from Hydel High School, set personal records this year, winning the 100-meter race at the Central Championships on March 15 with a time of 11.14 and the 200-meter race at the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships on April 9 with a time of 22.53.
The class one record of 22.71 set back in 2004 by Simone Facey was broken with that 22.53 performance.
On April 18 at Kingston's National Stadium's 49th Carifta Games, she ran 23.16 to win gold.
Lyston will aim to join athletes like Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad, who finished third in the 100 meters at the 2011 World Championships, Natoya Goule of Jamaica, who competed in the 800 meters at the Olympics and World Championships, Nickiesha Wilson of Jamaica, and others as Caribbean NCAA champions for LSU.
Rising American sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson also attended LSU, where in 2019 she won the National Division I title and set an NCAA record with a time of 10.75.
In Jamaica, sprinting has a long history, and Brianna appears to be ready to participate. With the potential she displays and Jamaica's strong running heritage, she undoubtedly possesses the tools necessary to advance and become a global superstar.
She appears to be talented enough to carry on and aid Jamaica in continuing to make athletic history if she keeps competing at such a high level.
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12 Year Old Jamaican Sprinter | Written: September 15, 2022