Teenager Dubbed ‘the Next Usain Bolt’ Ran Ridiculously Fast — and With a Flower Crown in Her Hair

Sara Murphy
Jamaica’s rising track star Brianna Lyston, who is 12 years old, is being called the next Usain Bolt. (Photo: Facebook/Team Jamaica)
Jamaica’s rising track star Brianna Lyston, who is 12 years old, is being called the next Usain Bolt. (Photo: Facebook/Team Jamaica)

Usain Bolt, aka the “fastest man alive,” is facing some new competition — from a 12-year-old girl.

An athletic adolescent star powered around the track and demolished the 200-meter record at the ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships on March 28. Tearing around the track in 23.46 seconds, Jamaica’s Brianna Lyston easily beat the highly competitive event’s two-year-old record time of 24.21, reports the Jamaica Observer.

The stunning time put her within two seconds of the 200-meter world record famously set by Florence Griffith-Joyner (aka Flo Jo) during the 1988 Olympics, making it not at all surprising that Lyston is being compared to her home country’s resident speed demon, three-time Olympic medal winner Bolt.

Lyston first garnered international attention two years ago, at the ripe old age of 10, during the TA/Sagicor National Athletic Championships and Caribbean Union Teachers Championships, held in Trinidad and Tobago. There, she broke the record in both the 200-meter and 300-meter events — and gave the world a little lesson in girl power while she was at it. Her time of 42.41 seconds in the under-11 category for the 300-meter race was, in fact, more than a second faster than the winning time recorded for the boys, according to a past profile in the Jamaica Observer, which cites fellow Jamaican track and field athlete Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as her inspiration.

But while Fraser-Pryce (rightfully) doesn’t want to be remembered for her hair, Lyston — who describes herself on her track-and-field-filled public Facebook page as a “proud upcoming athlete” — won’t let a little thing like racing stop her from having a little fun with hers. The impressive pre-teen didn’t just demolish multiple running records this week: She did it while wearing a crown of yellow flowers in her hair.

Next up: breaking records for style fun, mid-run — and likely the Olympics, too. Because clearly, this girl is unstoppable. Go, Brianna, go.

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