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Monday July 15, 2024

Lyles wins 100m at US trials to qualify for Paris Olympics

By AFP
June 25, 2024
Reigning world 100m champion Noah Lyles reacts after winning the 100 at the US Olympic athletics trials to book a berth at the Paris Games — AFP/file
Reigning world 100m champion Noah Lyles reacts after winning the 100 at the US Olympic athletics trials to book a berth at the Paris Games — AFP/file 

EUGENE: World 100 meters champion Noah Lyles claimed a measure of redemption by winning the 100m at the US athletics trials on Sunday, booking his ticket to the Paris Olympics.

Three years after failing to reach the Tokyo Olympics in the 100m over a trials finals flop, Lyles won in a personal best 9.83 seconds at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. “Three years ago I got second to last. This year I came and won it,” Lyles said.

“Part of the plan. Nothing changed. Might be a shock to everybody else but when you know the goal, you know the goal.” Kenny Bednarek, the 200m Olympic runner-up at Tokyo, ran a personal best of 9.87 to finish second with Fred Kerley, the 2022 world 100m champion, third in 9.88.

“On to the next one at the Olympic Games,” Kerley said. “We´re ready to go put on a show.” Christian Coleman, the 2019 world 100m champion, missed out on a chance at 100m gold, finishing fourth in 9.93 in a race with a wind at 0.4m/sec.

Lyles settled for 200m bronze at Tokyo after being the favorite for gold but last year captured world titles in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay and is fancied for gold once more in France. “If I didn´t get that third place in Tokyo, I wouldn´t have had that desire, I wouldn´t have had that fire burning, I wouldn´t have accomplished what I have accomplished in the past,” Lyles said.

“And now we constantly look to the future with open eyes because anything can happen.” Lyles, 26, led all semi-final qualifiers from Saturday preliminary heats in 9.92 then won his semi-final heat in a wind-aided (3.0m/sec) 9.80 to lead all eight qualifiers for the final. Bednarek reached Paris after a near miss in the Tokyo trials. “I just stayed calm and collected and executed my race. That´s all I needed to do,” Bednarek said.