March 29 was quite a day for 19-year-old sprinters Bouwahjie Nkrumie of Kingston, Jamaica. Nkrumie stormed to a U20 national record time of 9.99 seconds (+0.3 m/s) at the Jamaica High School Boys and Girls Athletics Championships, becoming only the third runner in the world to break the 10-second barrier before turning 20.
🇯🇲 HE’S DONE IT! The first Jamaican Junior athlete to run under 10 with
He’s now the 3rd Junior in history to run sub 10 legally 🌎
Did he look across mid race???
Congratulations to the National Junior Record holder Bouwahjgie Nkrumie 👏 pic.twitter.com/I3h6MZZX9o
—RoriDunk (@FitzDunk) March 30, 2023
Nkrumie, 19, nicknamed “Dr. Speed,” became the youngest Jamaican sprinter to break the barrier, which is an incredible feat considering the small Caribbean nation’s rich sprinting history (including Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Yohan Blake). The future of the 100m looks bright as Nkrumie joins American Trayvon Bromell and U20 world record holder, Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo, in the U20 under-10 club.
Last year, Tebogo beat Nkrumie in the 100m final at the U20 World Athletics Championships in Cali, Colombia. Nkrumie ran his previous best of 10.02 seconds in the final, but was second to Tebogo, who won in a U20 world record of 9.91 seconds.
Nkrumie’s time of 9.99 was also a 2023 world lead for 100m, but it only lasted a few hours until Akani Simbine of South Africa ran a time of 9.98 seconds (+1.0 m/s) in the men’s 100m heats at the South African Championships.
Big day for Jamaican U20 athletes in the 100m 👏
Bouwahjgie Nkrumie becomes the first Jamaican U20 athlete to dip under 10 seconds.
Alana Reid clocks the 7th fastest time in the U20 category 👀 pic.twitter.com/GsCMrL1TVl
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) March 30, 2023
The new Jamaican record holder is in his final year of high school at Kingston College, an all-male sports and academic-focused secondary school in Kingston. We will likely see Nkrumie take on the world’s best later this year at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August.