Is Jamaica’s Brianna Lyston an Olympic Champion in the making?

Is Jamaica's Brianna Lyston is an Olympic Champion in the making?

Briann Lyston – photo – telegraph.co.uk

“I just ran the curve fast and kind of went easy off the straight. 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 Lyston told the Jamaica Gleaner.

Track and field is a very competitive sport and only milliseconds separate world-record holders from the rest of the pack. Usain Bolt has been setting the stage for years as his world-records have been considered nothing short of legendary as he copped gold countless times. His performance over his sporting career has made him one of the athletic greats, not just in Jamaica, but the world.

Each year in Jamaica, the annual high school Boys and Girls Championships gather budding track and field stars from respective schools for the event where scouts and audiences from near and far come to feast their eyes. The multiple record-holder had won his first high school champs medal in the men’s 200m sprint, clocking a time of 22.04 seconds and was awarded silver for his efforts; Usain was fourteen at the time.

Amazing right?

What’s sheer incredulity is doing so at twelve, clocking a similar time and being a female. The triple threat who delivered that astonishing feat is none other than Brianna Lyston. In Class Four (under 13), she clocked a time of 23.72 in the women’s 200m at the 2017 Boys and Girls Championships in record time and also ran 11.86 seconds in the 100m sprint.

“Keep up the good work young lady. Jah kno the future is very bright for you and your family. Keep Jamaica track on top. Maximum respect to your parents to keep you on the right track to greatness.” – Shaun Maclean, one of Lyston’s fans.

This time was 2.38 seconds behind Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 21.34 second world record in the 200m and 1.37 seconds behind her 100m world record at the 1988 Olympics. At that time Griffith-Joyner was seventeen years Brianna’s senior. Like Brianna, Bolt excelled early at athletics, he was dubbed the fastest 100-meter runner at Waldensia Primary at the tender age of twelve, but never at the championship level.

“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 told the Jamaican Gleaner newspaper.

She was no stranger to the limelight as she has been in the sporting world since age ten. She ran a whopping 42.41 seconds in the 300m sprint at the Caribbean Union Teacher’s Championships in Trinidad and Tobago event in 2015. She first began on the road of track and field as a student at the Southborough Primary School prior to attending St. Jago High School in Spanish Town, St. Catherine in Jamaica. St. Jago High is known for training and producing some of Jamaica’s top athletes, academics, and military officers among other professions.

“Brianna wants to be a nurse when she grows up, but she also wants to become a professional athlete,” said Mrs. Bennett. “Most of her spare time outside of school is taken up with running. She just loves it…  She’s been running at this pace since the age of 10 and she looks up to athletes like Usain Bolt.” – Brianna’s mother.

Lyston hails from the city of Portmore, in the parish of St. Catherine, Jamaica; a parish that is filled with residents beaming with pride and happiness at the thought of her wins, a feeling which has extended to the entire country of Jamaica and stunned the world.

“I’m so proud of her. It was just fantastic to watch. She always trains very hard and when she came off the track she just felt great.” – Brianna’s mother told Telegraph.

Is she an Olympic champion in the making? Brianna trains every day of the week and sometimes on Saturday so she has the dedication and determination running through her veins from a young age – the foundation of track stars. The world watches and waits as she continues making her mark on the track and field stage behind her role models and internationally renowned legends. It is a long wait, but three more years is just around the corner as the 2020 summer Olympic Games fast approaches in Tokyo.

 “Brianna Lyston, Class 4 runner from St. Jago is exceptional!  Feel like we going to be calling her name for years to come.” – Floyd Green, Education Minister of Jamaica.

Is Jamaica's Brianna Lyston is an Olympic Champion in the making?

Brianna on her way to victory – photo – telegraph.co.uk

How Brianna compares as recounted by Telegraph UK….

  • Brianna Lyston won the “Boys and Girls” Athletics Championships, Jamaica, 200m final last weekend, with a time of 23.72 seconds.

She went on to win the 100m Under-13 final with a time of 11.86, just 1.24 seconds off the Women’s Olympic Record set in 1998 by Florence Griffith-Joyner, who was then 17 years Brianna’s senior.

  • Usain Bolt’s first recorded time in the 200m, at the age of 15, was 21.81 seconds, 1.91 seconds faster than Lyston; he was however 3 years older.
  • Eight times Olympic gold medal winner Bolt went on to set World Record times in 100m (9.58s) and 200m (19.19s) at the 2009 World Championships, in Berlin, – 2.28 seconds and 4.53 seconds faster than Brianna.

Jamaica possesses a rich sprinting tradition and Brianna looks to be set to partake in it. With the potential she is showing, and Jamaica’s rich running pedigree, she definitely has the resources to go on and become a world star. Adapted from Sportskeeda

By Alexandra Daley

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