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Lyles wins Trials 200m, makes 1st Games; Knighton, 17, joins

Lyles wins Trials 200m, makes 1st Games; Knighton, 17, joins
Posted at 10:20 PM, Jun 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 02:07:31-04

Reigning world 200m champion Noah Lyles put to rest any lingering doubts about his Olympic team chances Sunday, winning the event's final at U.S. Trials in a world-lead 19.74.

The time ties Lyles' eighth best of his career in the sprint and delivers his first Games berth.

Joining him in Tokyo are second- and third-place finishers Kenny Bednarek (19.78) and 17-year-old high schooler Erriyon Knighton (19.84), who improved his under-20 world record set in the semifinals.

After failing to qualify in the 100m — the weaker of his two sprints — last week, Lyles' Tokyo Olympic opportunity rested heavily upon and almost certainly came down to the result of Sunday's final.

He entered with the fastest personal-best among the field but also just the fourth-fastest time run by an American this year.

What's more, the 23-year-old Virginia native's seventh-place finish in last Sunday's 100m final didn't officially grant him a spot in the relay pool, further necessitating a top-three finish in the 200m showdown.

Knighton was the top qualifier of the prelims (20.04) and semifinals (19.88), beating Lyles in both of his rounds' sections.

Per NBC Sports' Ato Boldon, Knighton becomes the first high schooler to represent the U.S. in the 200m at an Olympics since 1972.