St. Jago High School student Brianna Lyston is the next big sprinter from a nation known for their sprinters. This is an impressive feat in and of itself, but how about the fact that Usain Bolt’s legacy is now on the back of a 12-year-old girl? That’s right—Brianna has already shattered a ceiling never broken before by becoming the first person under 13 to run a sub-24 second race at the Jamaican 2017 Boys and Girls Championships. This time of 23.72 is within two seconds of the current record holder’s time. Florence Griffith-Joyner holds the current record. Brianna has already broken the championship record of 24.21, which was previously held by Joanne Reid, by running a sub-24 second race. She also handily beat her other opponents in the 100 meters with the incredible time of 11.86 seconds.
Like Bolt, who also began to show sprinting prowess at an early age, Brianna hopes to one day represent her country in the Olympic Games. She also displays the unwavering confidence of the very young and very talented. After the Boys and Girls Championships, she said, “I think I can go much faster, I am looking for 23.80 seconds. My coach told me to go out and make the semi-finals and I plan to run hard in every race.”
Brianna began to turn heads with her speed while at the Southborough Primary School before she began to attend St. Jago High School in Spanish Town, St. Catherine. While Bolt didn’t concentrate solely on track and field until around age 14, due to his undying love for cricket and football, Brianna is already focused on her training at 12. As Usain Bolt’s retirement approaches, Jamaica can be assured of holding on to their sprinting dynasty with Brianna Lyston in continued good health. All of Jamaica hopes they’ll be cheering her name in the Olympics soon!