Lyles cruises into men's 100m semis at US Olympic trials

Reigning world champion runs men’s 100m prelim heat in 9.92sec

AFP June 23, 2024


Reigning world 100 meters champion Noah Lyles advanced to the 100m semi-finals at the US Olympic athletics trials by winning his preliminary heat in 9.92 seconds on Saturday.

Lyles cruised into Sunday's semi-finals with his first strides toward the 100m at the Paris Olympics, advancing with ease out of the heats at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

Lyles was the fastest overall qualifier for the semi-finals with Christian Coleman, the 2019 100m world champion, second in 9.99.

It's a redemption run for Lyles, who failed to qualify for the 100m final at the Tokyo Olympics and settled for bronze in a 200m final where he was a favorite.

"It has been three years since we've been at an Olympic trials," Lyles said Saturday. "It has been a long time for a long time."

Lyles, 26, has said he struggled with depression in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics.

"I'm glad to be happy," he said. "I'm glad to be out here. I'm glad to be racing and feeling all right with myself."

The top five finishers in each of five heats plus the next two fastest runners reached the semi-finals, where Sunday's finalists will be decided.

After a false start on Cravon Gillespie, Lyles ended any suspense, winning by .08 of a second over Kenny Bednarek in the opening heat with a 0.2m/sec tailwind.

"We had a false start there," Lyles said. "In our training, coach said reset, walk slow, don't worry about anything. That's what I did. I said, 'I'm going to get back into it. Nothing's wrong.'"

Lyles was never going to threaten his season best of 9.85 or his personal best of 9.83.

"I had to make sure that my first 10 steps were powerful and open and after that I stood up," Lyles said.

"I knew I had the race in me. I knew I had it clear by 60 meters, which is why I ran more 60s this indoor season. And from there I just shut it down."

Lyles was a champion in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at last year's World Championships,

He hopes to chase a fourth gold in Paris in the 4x400m relay, although it's not clear he will be named to that pool.


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