EUGENE, Ore. — Noah Lyles led wire to wire and routed the field in the men’s 200 meters Thursday in 19.31 seconds, the third-fastest time ever, to lead America’s second sprint sweep at the world championships.
Lyles blew away US teammates Kenny Bednarek by 0.46 seconds, with 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton finishing third.
The only two faster times are the 19.19 world record run by Usain Bolt in 2009, and a 19.26 two years later by another Jamaican, Yohan Blake, while he was pushing Bolt for supremacy. But the time that was most on Lyles’s mind was 19.32. That’s the American record set in 1996 by Michael Johnson and thought for decades to be unbeatable.
When Lyles crossed the finish line, he put his finger over his lips — time to shushhh all those who doubted him, a list that might include himself. It’s been a rough couple of years during which he battled mental health issues and the strain of competing in front of empty seats.
Jackson makes history
Shericka Jackson gave the Jamaican women another gold medal in the sprints Thursday night, capturing the 200-meter title at the world championships in the second-fastest time in history, 21.45 seconds.
Jackson crossed 0.16 seconds ahead of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won the 100 four nights earlier. Defending champion Dina Asher-Smith brought another medal back to Britain — the only of the six women’s sprint medals not heading back to Jamaica this year.
Seconds after the win, Usain Bolt tweeted “Brilliant” with two Jamaican flags to represent the evening’s medal haul.
Jackson’s time was second only to one of the most hallowed marks on the books — the 21.34 by Florence Griffith-Joyner at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. It blew away the old world-championship record of 21.63 set by Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands.
Jackson adds this to her silver medal from Sunday night in the 100, and a pair of bronze medals she won in the 400 at worlds in 2015 and 2019.
She came into worlds with the fastest time in 2022, 21.55, though the victory has been building for longer than that. At last year’s Olympics, Jackson missed the final after miscalculating in the curve, where she slowed up and finished fourth in her preliminary heat.
She called it a silly mistake and said it was all the fuel she needed to stay motivated for the championships this year.
US decathlete banned
American decathlon champion Garrett Scantling is not at the world championships this week in the wake of a ban for missed doping tests.
Scantling, who finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics last year, was left off the 151-person American team when it was announced earlier this month; the fourth-place finisher at this year’s nationals, Steven Bastien, was on the team. No reason was given at the time.
The US Anti-Doping Agency released news that Scantling was serving a provisional suspension that began Thursday — opening day for the decathlon —for a potential tampering violation that “stems from Scantling’s conduct during an investigation into his third potential whereabouts failure.”
Athletes are required to provide their schedules to anti-doping authorities so they can send doping-control officers to administer no-notice, out-of-competition tests. The third time an athlete cannot be located over a certain period can result in a penalty.
USADA said Scantling agreed to have his provisional suspension made public while his case is pending.
Scantling, who previously tried out for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars, won the nationals in May with 8,867 points, which is the highest score in the world this year.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism