Noah Lyles wins 200m at US Olympic trials in record time

Three-time world champion Noah Lyles moved a step closer to achieving his ambitions of an Olympic sprint double by winning the men’s 200-meters in record time at the US Olympic track and field trials.

The American crossed the line in 19.53 seconds at Hayward Field, Eugene on Saturday, for the fastest time of the year in the event and also broke Michael Johnson’s trials record of 19.66 which had stood for 28 years.

Lyles first surpassed that time by winning his semifinal in 19.60 on Friday, though on that occasion the wind was fractionally too strong for his time to register as a record.

Coming off the bend, the defending champion had much work to do but overtook Olympic silver medallist Kenny Bednarek, who finished second with a personal best 19.59, in the final 50m.

Twenty-year-old world silver medalist Erriyon Knighton was third in 19.77, securing the final Olympic spot in the event.

“I knew he was definitely working on something,” Lyles said, per the Associated Press, of Bednarek.

“So I came off the turn and said ‘OK, I’m fine. I’ve been here many times before. We’re going to get to the last 80. He’s going to fall, and I’m going to get faster.’”

Lyles – who won the men’s 100m at the trials last week – established himself as the fastest man in the world at last year’s world championships, winning the 100m with a personal best time of 9.83 seconds before claiming a third-straight crown in the 200m.

“You claim you’re gonna go out there and win four medals, so the goal had to be win the 100m and 200m. Job is accomplished,” Lyles told reporters. “I’m right where I need to be.”

The American finished a disappointing third in the 200m Tokyo but has been dominant over the distance ever since and will be the strong favorite to win gold in Paris in August.

In the women’s 200m, Gabby Thomas gave every indication that she could improve on the bronze she won in Tokyo, winning the race in 21.81. It was the second-fastest time of the year, the 27-year-old having posted a world-leading time of 21.78 in her semifinal.

“I feel like everything’s coming together right where it needs to and I’ve done my job,” Thomas said, per World Athletics. “Now we’re looking at the gold medal.”

Brittany Brown and McKenzie Long were second and third respectively, while 100m winner Sha’Carri Richardson was fourth, missing out the chance to double up in Paris.

Elsewhere, Grant Holloway was 0.06 seconds off the world record in winning the men’s 110m hurdles in 12.86. Olympic champion Valarie Allman (70.73m) won the women’s discuss, while Tara Davis-Woodhall won the women’s long jump.

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