USATF Men’s 200 — Lyles Wins Summit Meeting

Christian Coleman’s blazing start gave him an early lead, but Noah Lyles ran him down and moved away. (ANDREW McCLANAHAN/PHOTO RUN) (ANDREW McCLANAHAN/PHOTO RUN)

USATF SCHEDULED the men’s 200 final as the meet’s last event for a reason: marquee matchup appeal, rivaled for anticipation by only the 400 among men’s track finals this year. Christian Coleman, ’18’s World No. 1 in the 100 crowned as century champ two days before/world leader in the shorter dash vs. Noah Lyles, the ’18 titlist in the 100 and as reigning Diamond League champ/’18 World No. 1/owner of a slamming 19.50 PR set 23 days earlier, the man atop the deuce world. Lyles, just turned 22, triumphed this time, 19.78–20.02 in a light rain, but the rivalry promises plot twists for years to come as Coleman is only 23 and both are targeting dash doubles at the Olympics next year.

Michael Norman—who at the Rome DL delivered Lyles his first outdoor 200 defeat since the ’16 OT—opted, as promised, for the 400 here, thus marking this title race from the close of declarations as a de facto duel even though Coleman came in with three 100 rounds under his belt. The semis, however, boosted Kenny Bednarek into the picture. The 20-year-old had stunned at the JUCO Champs with history’s second sub-20/sub-45 double over 200 and 400, a 19.82/44.73 pairing helped by 1121m of altitude.

In June, Bednarek’s first two international outings, 20.51 and 47.02, had turned down his buzz somewhat… until semi 1 here, in which his impressively run 20.07 (-1.0 wind) bested Coleman (20.14) to reignite the chatter.

On a wet-track for the final with raindrops falling, Coleman took his blocks in lane 4, Lyles in 5 and Bednarek in 6. On their outside were McClain and Webb. A moment beforehand Lyles, tinges of light blue in his lengthening hair matching his adidas singlet, bounced up and down and raised his arms exhorting the crowd to come alive. Coleman, a football star in high school, awaited the start with a classic game face.

At the crack of the gun, master getaway artist Coleman blitzed to an instant lead, closing part of the stagger on Lyles. To the latter’s right, though, Bednarek, in his new pro Nike kit and a fluorescent yellow headband, was holding his own. Then disaster struck. Some 97m in, Bednarek’s right arm flailed violently upward and he veered right, obviously struck by a hamstring injury.

Coleman reached halfway about a half-step in front of Lyles (both at 10.4). The two charged together for half the straight and then Lyles, 2 inches taller at 5-10¾ (1.80), poured into his relentless finish gear against the mild headwind (-0.7) and finished 2m ahead. In lanes 7 and 8, McClain and Webb reached halfway together (both at 10.6) and raced in tandem down the straight until Webb got ahead some 10m out and leaned for 3rd in 20.45. Jamiel Trimble in lane 3 was only 6th at 100m but produced the third-fastest straightaway to claim 4th in 20.46 from Kyree King and McClain.

Although perceptions of an antagonistic Coleman/Lyles rivalry had bubbled up through social media over the previous 2 months after the pair’s Shanghai Diamond League meeting, the 100 champ clapped Lyles on the back and the two shook hands after the finish. “He actually offered [his hand] to me first,” said Lyles. “So I was really surprised on that. He said, ‘Congratulations.’ I said, ‘Thank you, man. You did the double. That’s a hard double to do.’”


USATF MEN’S 200 RESULTS

FINAL

(July 28; wind –0.7)

1. Noah Lyles (adi) 19.78

(10.4/9.4);

2. Christian Coleman (Nik) 20.02

(10.4/9.6);

3. Ameer Webb (Nik) 20.45

(10.6/9.8);

4. Jamiel Trimble (USAF) 20.46

(10.8/9.7);

5. Kyree King (Nik) 20.49

(10.7/9.8);

6. Remontay McClain (unat) 20.51

(10.6/9.9);

7. Rodney Rowe (NCAT) 20.75

(10.9/9.8);

8. Kenny Bednarek (Nik) 45.34

(10.7/23.6) (injured @ 100m).

LANES

1. Rowe; 2. King; 3. Trimble; 4. Coleman; 5. Lyles; 6. Bednarek; 7. McClain; 8. Webb

REACTION TIMES

Rowe 0.141; King 0.148; Trimble 0.156; Coleman 0.157; Lyles 0.169; McClain 0.172; Webb 0.188; Bednarek 0.207

HEATS

(July 27)

I(-1.5)–1. Keitavious Walter (Al) 20.59; 2. Rowe 20.65; 3. Isiah Young (Nik) 20.84; 4. Robert Ellis (unat) 21.00; 5. John Lundy (DCI) 21.09; 6. Kenzo Cotton (unat) 21.15.

II(-0.7)–1. Christopher Belcher (Nik) 20.63; 2. McClain 20.65; 3. Micaiah Harris (Tx) 20.66; 4. Andrew Hudson (unat) 20.73; 5. Bryce Robinson (unat) 20.90.

III(-1.1)–1. Bednarek 20.85; 2. Marqueze Washington (unat) 21.04; 3. McKinely West (unat) 21.20; 4. Courtney Lindsey (IaC) 21.32; 5. Cameron Parker (unat) 21.92.

IV(-2.7)–1. Trentavis Friday (Nik) 20.69; 2. Coleman 20.70; 3. Trimble 20.73; 4. Webb 20.85; 5. Just’N Thymes (Nik) 20.89;… dnf—Aldrich Bailey (unat).

V(-2.0)–1. Lyles 20.65; 2. King 20.97; 3. Devin Quinn (unat) 21.10; 4. Matthew Likely (Troy) 21.18; 5. Mustaqeem Williams (unat) 21.22; 6. Quashawn Cunningham (NCSt) 21.32; 7. Charles Jackson (USEx) 21.88.

SEMIS

(July 28)

I(-1.0)–1. Bednarek 20.07; 2. Coleman 20.14; 3. Trimble 20.41; 4. King 20.53; 5. Walter 20.56; 6. Hudson 20.67; 7. Friday 20.72; 8. Thymes 20.86.

II(-1.4)–1. Lyles 20.11; 2. McClain 20.49; 3. Webb 20.56; 4. Rowe 20.59; 5. Belcher 20.59; 6. Harris 20.65; 7. Young 20.82; 8. Washington 21.19.

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