Athletics

Lyles becomes fourth-fastest 200m runner of all-time

Saturday, July 06, 2019

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Lausanne, Switzerland (AFP) — American Noah Lyles became the fourth-fastest man in history over 200 metres with a stunning Diamond League victory in 19.50 seconds at Lausanne yesterday.

The 21-year-old was expected to face a close challenge from Andre De Grasse, but the Canadian was left trailing in third as Lyles laid down a serious marker ahead of September's World Championships in Doha.

“Oh my God, would it be crazy if I said yes?,” said Lyles when asked if he expected to run so fast.

“The worlds — I've been waiting for this since 2017, for so long, but I have no pressure as I have never participated in a big championship.”

Only world-record holder Usain Bolt (19.19sec), fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake (19.26sec) and four-time Olympic gold-medal winner Michael Johnson (19.32sec) have run quicker.

Lyles will now have the US Track and Field Championships, which run July 25-28 in Iowa, in his sights.

“I was even disappointed that the trials are postponed until July (from June),” he added. “It makes we wait even more, and I want to show that I'm the best.”

Running in lane 7, Lyles seized a clear lead coming out of the bend and was never going to be caught in the final 100m.

Ecuador's Alex Quinonez snatched a surprise second place from lane 8, ahead of De Grasse (19.92sec), running 19.87sec.

American veteran Gatlin proved his is still capable of defending his world 100m title later this year with a second consecutive Diamond League win.

The controversial 37-year-old, who has twice served doping bans in his career, claimed victory in 9.92sec, having run 9.87sec to triumph in Stanford last weekend.

The 2004 Olympic champion beat fellow countryman Michael Rodgers (10.01sec) and Canada's Michael Rodgers (10.07sec).

“I feel good, I feel strong,” said Gatlin.

Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet suffered an embarrassing mishap during men's 5,000 metres, crossing the line with his arms raised in celebration — but with a lap still remaining.

His compatriot Yomif Kejelcha took full advantage, showing little sympathy to take the victory in 13 minutes and 0.56 seconds as Gebrhiwet was forced to settle for 10th.

Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot edged out Norwegian rising star Jakob Ingebrigtsen to win the 1,500m in a world-leading time of 3min 28.77sec.

Six men ran sub-1min 45sec times in a remarkable 800m race won by Commonwealth gold medallist Wycliffe Kinyamal of Kenya.


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