Noah Lyles and Sha'Carri Richardson Set Blistering Times in Semifinals at US Olympic Trials

American Sprinters Solidify Status as Medal Contenders for Paris Games

By Issy Ronald, CNN

(CNN) — American sprinters Noah Lyles, Gabby Thomas, and Sha'Carri Richardson delivered outstanding performances in the 200-meter semifinals at the US Olympic track and field trials on Friday, further cementing their status as the USA's top medal hopes for the upcoming Paris Games.

In the men's 110m hurdles, Grant Holloway recorded a time of 12.81 seconds, the fourth-fastest time in history, to secure his spot on the US team for his second Olympic Games.

Lyles, the reigning 200m world champion, clocked an impressive time of 19.60 seconds in his semifinal, which would have broken the meet record if not for a slightly excessive tailwind of 2.5mph – just above the allowed speed for records to stand. He finished ahead of Christian Coleman, who posted a time of 19.89 seconds, while Kenny Bednarek, Robert Gregory, and rising star Erryion Knighton also qualified for the final with sub-20 second times.

"It felt real easy," Lyles told broadcaster NBC Sports afterwards. "I was very shocked to see that time pop up. I wasn't even really trying. I shut down pretty hard, too, in the end."

Meanwhile, Richardson matched her personal-best time of 21.92 seconds in her semifinal. However, shortly after, Tokyo bronze medalist Gabby Thomas recorded a world-leading time of 21.78 seconds in her semifinal to qualify as the fastest for the final.

Noah Lyles and Sha'Carri Richardson competing in the 200m semifinals at the US Olympic trials
Noah Lyles and Sha'Carri Richardson competing in the 200m semifinals at the US Olympic trials

The top three athletes in each event at the trials earn a spot on the US team for the Paris Olympics, which begin on July 26. Both Richardson and Lyles have already secured their places on the US team, having won the women's and men's 100 meters, respectively, last week. In those races, Lyles clocked a personal best of 9.83 seconds, while Richardson posted a world-leading time of 10.71 seconds.

The exceptional performances by Lyles, Thomas, and Richardson in the 200m semifinals have further solidified their status as the USA's biggest medal contenders for the Paris Games. Their blistering times have set the stage for what promises to be an electrifying final on Saturday.

Gabby Thomas competing in the 200m semifinals at the US Olympic trials
Gabby Thomas competing in the 200m semifinals at the US Olympic trials

The depth of American sprinting talent on display at the trials is a testament to the country's dominance in the sport. With the likes of Lyles, Richardson, and Thomas leading the charge, the USA is poised to make a significant impact on the track in Paris later this year.

As the athletes now prepare for the final, the anticipation is palpable, and fans eagerly await to see if these American sprinters can deliver even more record-breaking performances on the world stage.

Grant Holloway Secures Second Olympic Appearance

In addition to the standout performances in the 200m, the trials also saw a historic moment in the men's 110m hurdles, where Grant Holloway recorded a time of 12.81 seconds – the fourth-fastest time in history.

Holloway's blistering run not only secured his spot on the US team for the Paris Olympics but also cemented his status as one of the favorites to win gold in the event. The 24-year-old, who won silver at the Tokyo Olympics, is now primed to challenge for the top of the podium in Paris.

Grant Holloway competing in the 110m hurdles semifinals at the US Olympic trials
Grant Holloway competing in the 110m hurdles semifinals at the US Olympic trials

Holloway's achievement is a testament to his hard work and the depth of talent within the US hurdling program. With his sights set on gold, the world will be closely watching as he takes to the track in Paris, eager to see if he can deliver a historic performance and cement his place among the all-time greats of the sport.

As the US Olympic trials come to a close, the American sprinters have undoubtedly made their mark, showcasing their exceptional abilities and setting the stage for what promises to be an unforgettable Olympic Games in Paris. The country's fans can look forward to cheering on their track and field stars as they compete for gold and solidify the USA's reputation as a sprinting powerhouse on the global stage.