Issam Asinga from Suriname broke the world U20 100m record in his first international competition with a timing of 9.89* (0.8m/s) on the first day of the 53rd South American Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 28.
Asinga improved the world U20 record of 9.91 set by Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo at the 2022 World U20 Championships. The 18-year-old Asinga also broke the senior South American record, beating the 10.00 mark set by Brazil’s legendary Robson da Silva in 1988.
“I am very pleased with my performance,” said Asinga, who had previously dipped under 10 seconds on four occasions, but with wind-assisted times. “I knew the result would eventually happen, that it was only a matter of time.”
Asinga, running in lane 5, was dominant from the start. Erik Cardoso of Brazil also started well, but the 18-year-old was just too good in the latter part of the sprint, with Cardoso finishing second at 9.97, and Ronal Longa at 9.99 – a Colombian record.
The 18-year-old has been turning heads in the athletics scene since he rocketed to three sub-10 second 100m times in April, including a win over 200m world champion Noah Lyles.
On April 23 at the PURE Athletics Spring Invitational in Clermont, Florida, Asinga ran times of 9.86 and 9.83 with the assistance of the wind. Lyles, who finished in second with a 9.92, was up against that 9.83.
A week later, the senior from Florida’s Montverde Academy won the Corky/Crofoot Shootout in Lubbock, Texas, in 9.89, once more with the aid of the wind.
Asinga will have a difficult time making the American team for the World Championships in August because of competitors like Lyles, 100-meter champion Fred Kerley, and fellow teen Erriyon Knighton.
The youngster, though, is undoubtedly focused on a location in Budapest.
“All I’m trying to do right now is show that I’m consistent,” he told Citius Magazine in an interview. “I want to show consistency... show that [my times] it’s not no flukes.”
He added: “We’re going for the World Championships. That’s always been the goal - we’re going for that. I’m ready to go out there for Budapest and do my thing.”
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