WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Noah Lyles retains 200m crown as Americans sweep podium
The US became the first country to sweep both short sprints at a single World Athletics Championships, when Noah Lyles led his compatriots to a 1-2-3 in the 200m final.
Noah Lyles retained his 200m title as US sprinters secured their second podium sweep, while Shericka Jackson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce made it a 1-2 finish for Jamaica in the women’s event at the World Athletics Championships on Thursday.
Lyles, a bronze medallist at the Tokyo Games, scorched to victory in 19.31 seconds to become the third-fastest athlete of all time over the distance and break four-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson’s national record.
Five days after Fred Kerley led a US 1-2-3 in the 100m, Lyles produced another dominant performance to clinch gold ahead of Tokyo runner-up Kenny Bednarek in 19.77, while teenager Erriyon Knighton finished third in 19.80.
It is the first time a country has swept both men’s sprint events in the same year at the World Championships.
Lyles led at the halfway point and exploded through the finish, with compatriots Bednarek and 18-year-old Knighton battling out of the turn and down the straight for silver and bronze.
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Lyles has not been satisfied with how quickly he has been getting out of the blocks in some of his races but said the first few metres on Thursday were “the start of my life”.
“I was telling (Knighton) and Kenny, I was like, ‘I was glad y’all was behind me because y’all put the fear of God into my start’,” said Lyles.
He knew he had a clear path to the top of the podium when he did not feel Knighton behind him off the turn.
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“After that (turn) I was like, ‘Okay, I’m racing myself, let’s go – which was my goal. But I also had in the back of the head, in case he did try to pull up on me, I was going to be ready for it.
“Today is my day – I finally got to do what I dreamed of,” Lyles said. “I felt I got the best start I could possibly ask for. It’s an immaculate feeling to be on the podium with two fellow Americans.”
Lyles’s victory came moments after Jackson gave the Jamaican women another sprint gold, setting a championship record of 21.45 seconds in the 200m – the second-fastest time in history – for a first individual world title at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
Newly crowned 100m gold medallist Fraser-Pryce missed out on a second sprint double after finishing second in 21.81, claiming her 13th world medal overall, while Britain’s defending champion, Dina Asher-Smith, took bronze in 22.02.
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“I’m feeling great. I came out and put on a show. The fastest woman alive, the national and championship record, I can’t complain,” Jackson said.
Another podium sweep could be on the cards for the US after Olympic champion Athing Mu along with Raevyn Rogers and Ajee Wilson advanced to the women’s 800m semifinals, which will take place on Friday.
In the men’s competition, Kenya’s Olympic champion Emmanuel Korir reached the final after producing his best performance of the season in the semis. Algerian Slimane Moula came from behind to win his race in the fastest time of the day.
Indian hopes of a world javelin medal remained on course after Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra threw 88.39m to reach the final, while reigning world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada had the best throw of the day with 89.91m. Reuters/DM