Kentucky sprint sensation Abby Steiner improved her world-leading time with a blistering 21.77 seconds to win the 2022 USATF Outdoor Championships women’s 200 meters title here at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon on Sunday (26). Also in sparkling form were Noah Lyles and Erriyon Knighton who finished 1-2 in the men’s race.
After equalling the fastest time in the world this year with a 21.80 seconds performance in the semi-final, Steiner returned two hours later to shave .03 seconds off her lifetime best to outclass a strong field on her way to securing her first senior national title. She was also winning her third championship 200m title this year, following her wins at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor National Championships.
Following Steiner home on Sunday was the improving Tamara Clark, who bettered her fourth-place finish at the Olympic Trials last year by capturing the runner-up spot this year with a PB of 21.92 seconds.
Olympian and former Oregon Duck sprinter Jenna Prandini went deep into her reserves to produce a season-best of 22.01 for third place.
Unfortunately, though, Olympic bronze medalist Gabby Thomas, still not 100-percent after picking up a hamstring injury two weeks ago, failed to finish in the top three, clocking 22.47 secs for eighth place.
Noah Lyles and Erriyon Knighton in 200m thriller
In the meantime, in a thrilling encounter to decide the men’s crown, reigning world champion Noah Lyles reminded his main rival and high school sprint sensation Erriyon Knighton that he’s still the top man in the business.
Knighton used another strong opening 100m to grab a sizable lead coming off the curve and looked well set to land his first national title.
However, Lyles erased the deficit with a superb last 60m to snatch the victory at the line and even had a moment to celebrate before breaking the tape at 19.67 seconds.
Knighton, the current world leader and the fourth-fastest man in the history over the men’s 200m, clocked 19.68 secs for second place and punched his ticket to another major championship, following his fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Games last summer.
The 100m champion, Fred Kerley, who was slightly disappointed about missing out on the sprint double, was still happy with making another sprint team after placing third in 19.83 secs.
Olympic silver medalist Kenny Bednarek finished fourth in a season-best 19.87 to also earn a place on the team to the 2022 World Athletics Championships as the US will be able to field four athletes in the event since Lyles is the defending champion.
Josephus Lyles also went under 20 seconds with a personal best of 19.93 for fifth place.
Also today, Olympic silver medalist Rai Benjamin ran a world-leading time of 47.04 secs to win the men’s 400m hurdles. Trevor Bassitt (47.47) and Khallifah Rosser (47.65) both set personal bests for second and third place, respectively.
Athing Mu won the women’s 800m in 1:57.16 after fending off a strong closing finish by World Indoor champion Ajee’ Wilson (1:57.23) with Olympic bronze medalist Raevyn Rogers (1:57.96) completing the team to the world championships
The men’s 110m hurdles title went to Daniel Roberts in 13.03 secs with NCAA champion Trey Cunningham (13.08) and Devon Allen (13.09) following next in second and third.
Defending world champion Grant Holloway didn’t contest the final.