US sprinters swept the podium for the second time at the World Championships in Oregon courtesy to Noah Lyles’ electrifying effort to maintain his 200-meter world championship.
Five days after Fred Kerley led a USA 1-2-3 in the 100 meters, Lyles put on another spectacular performance at Hayward Field, winning in 19.31 seconds, the fourth-fastest time in history. Only Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt, both of Jamaica, have ran faster.
The United States swept the medals in the 200 meters, just as they did in the 100 meters. Behind Lyles, Kenny Bednarek finished in 19.77 seconds, and Erriyon Knighton, an 18-year-old wonder, finished in 19.80 seconds.
Lyles covered his mouth with his finger as soon as he crossed the finish line. It was time to silence anyone who had any doubts about him. He had struggled with mental health concerns and the pressure of competing in front of an empty audience for the past number of difficult years.
“Today is my day – I finally got to do what I dreamed of,” he said on track after breaking four-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson’s national record, which had stood since 1996.
“I got my whole family here.”