18-year-old Issam Asinga, who defeated Noah Lyles, breaks world U20 100m record

Issam Asinga (Image via Instagram/Issam Asinga)
Issam Asinga (Image via Instagram/Issam Asinga)

Issam Asinga has made headlines for his record-breaking win in the U20 100m category at the 53rd South American Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

On Friday, July 28, the athlete stunned the world by running in his first international competition and dethroning Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo's 100m record from last year.

In the finals of the recent championship, 18-year-old Asinga clocked an impressive 9.89s at the U20 100m event. With his timing, he broke Letsile Tebogo’s record of 9.91s that he set at the 2022 World U20 Championships in Cali.

The high school sprinter also happened to break the 10.00 mark, a senior South American record set by Brazil’s Robson da Silva in 1988.

Issam Asinga at a championship (Image via Instagram/Issam Asinga)
Issam Asinga at a championship (Image via Instagram/Issam Asinga)

Nevertheless, his competitors — Erik Cardoso of Brazil and Ronal Longa of Colombia — achieved second and third positions in the race. Celebrating his grand win at the U20 100m event, the Atlanta-born shared his happiness in a conversation with World Athletics.

“I am very pleased with my performance,” Asinga said. “I knew the result would eventually happen, that it was only a matter of time.”

Just like the finals, the young athlete showed a similar record-breaking performance in the semifinals of the U20 100m event earlier in the day. Asinga managed to clock an impressive time frame of 10.03 seconds, displaying the fastest time of the day. The Surinam boy also broke the 10.06 second-record set by Brazil’s André Domingos da Silva in 1999.

Issam Asinga’s family background and him defeating Noah Lyles

Asinga (Image via Instagram/Issam Asinga)
Asinga (Image via Instagram/Issam Asinga)

Issam Asinga was born on December 29, 2004, in Atlanta. However, he grew up in Zambia, the birthplace of his mother. Asinga’s impressive athletic skills definitely come from his father, Tommy Asinga, who till today, is Surinam’s record holder in the country's 400m, 800m, and 1500m events.

In fact, he also represented Surinam at the 1988, 1992, and 1996 Olympic Games. Not just Asinga’s father, but his mother Ngozi Mwanamwambwa, a former Zambian sprinter, also represented her country at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics.

Asinga is currently a high school student at Montverde in Florida. He will soon be joining the prestigious A&M University in Texas at the start of the school year.

One of Asinga’s headline moments happened on April 23 this year, at the PURE Athletics Spring Invitational in Clermont, Florida. He won the 100m event with an impressive time of 9.83s, beating the current star athlete Noah Lyles whose time frame was 9.92s.

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Edited by Parag Jain
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