American Noah Lyles matched the fastest time in the world this year in winning the 200 meters in 19.69 seconds Saturday at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League athletics meet.
The 20-year-old former world junior champion, helped by a tailwind at the legal limit of 2.0 m/sec, set a personal best to equal South Africa’s Clarence Munyai for the top 2018 time and even shock himself.
“To be honest, I’m a little scared,” Lyles said. “I didn’t think I would be running this fast this season, this soon. I didn’t think I was ready but my body was.” The showdown at Eugene, Oregon, marks the final “Pre” at 99-year Hayward Field before a major reconstruction ahead of hosting the 2021 World Outdoor Athletics Championships.
Starting one lane from the outside, Lyles made a great start around the curve and surged over the final 100 to finish .01 off Justin Gatlin’s meet record.
“Everybody will just have to deal with it,” Lyles said. “I'm here to dominate.” London 2017 world bronze medalist Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago was second in 20.05 with Canada’s Aaron Brown third in 20.07.
Baker, Ta Lou win 100s
US 60m indoor champion Ronnie Baker, who owns the 2018 world best of 9.97, defended his 100m crown in a 2.4m/sec wind-aided 9.78.
Compatriot Christian Coleman, this year’s world 60m champion and last year’s world 100m runner-up, was second in 9.84. Britain’s Reece Prescod was third in 9.88, edging China’s Su Bingtian by .02.
Coleman started strong but Baker surged with 30 meters remaining to seize the victory, his second in as many weeks after a win at Jamaica.
“Christian was really pushing me,” Baker said. “My mindset was just to stay relaxed and run through the line and that’s what I did.” Coleman, who pulled out of the 200 after tweaking a leg muscle, was happy with his 2018 outdoor debut.
“Felt pretty good about my first race of the year after tweaking something in my leg,” Coleman said.
Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou, last year’s world 100 and 200 runner-up, won the women’s 100 in 10.88, .02 ahead of compatriot Murielle Ahoure.
Rio Olympic champion Elaine Thompson of Jamaica was third in 10.98 with reigning world champion Tori Bowie of the United States fifth in 11.03.
Bowie had to be helped off the track, grabbing her left leg and grimacing after the race.
Reigning Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas surged late to win the women’s 400 in 49.52 with world champion Phyllis Francis of the United States second in 50.81. Rio Olympic runner-up Allyson Felix withdrew with no reason given.
Olympic and world champion Caster Semenya of South Africa defended her 800m crown in a meet record 1:55.92 with American Ajee Wilson second in 1:56.86.
Reigning world and Olympic champion Omar McLeod of Jamaica won the men’s 110m hurdles in a wind-aided 13.01, rallying to edge non-aligned competitor Sergey Shubenkov by .07 of a second with a 3.0 m/sec tailwind.
Two-time Olympic and three-time world champion Christian Taylor won the triple jump by leaping 17.73m on his final attempt with fellow American Will Claye, the world and Olympic runner-up, second at 17.46 and Brazil’s reigning world indoor champion Almir Dos Santos third at 17.35.
Barshim, Crouser win
Reigning world champion and two-time Olympic medalist Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar won the high jump by clearing 2.36m with non-aligned athlete Danil Lysenko edging China’s Wang Yu for second on fewer misses after both cleared 2.32.
Rio Olympic champion Ryan Crouser of the United States won the shot put with a heave of 22.53m. Poland’s Michael Haratyk was second on 21.97 ahead of Brazil’s Darlan Romani (21.95). World indoor and outdoor champion Tomas Walsh of New Zealand was fourth at 21.84.
American Jenn Suhr, the 2012 Olympic champion, won the women’s pole vault in a meet record 4.85m, edging New Zealand’s Rio Olympic bronze medalist Eliza McCartney on fewer misses.
Former world 1,500m champion Genzebe Dibaba won the women’s 5,000 in 14:26.89 with fellow Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidney second in 14:30.29 and world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya third in 14:35.03.
American Shelby Houlihan won the women’s 1,500 in a personal best 3:59.06, .24 ahead of Britain’s Laura Muir.
Jamaica’s Janieve Russell, the Commonwealth Games champion, won the women’s 400m hurdles in 54.06, edging 2016 Rio Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad of the United States by .03.
Kenya’s Benjamin Kigen won the 3,000m steeplechase in a personal best 8:09.07, the fastest time in the world this year, and compatriot Timothy Cheruiyot, last year’s world 1,500m runner-up, won the mile in 3:49.87.