EUGENE, Oregon (July 9) — Olympic bronze medalist Gabby Thomas displayed her dominance, leaving her competitors, including Sha’Carri Richardson, trailing behind as she sprinted to victory in the women’s 200m at the 2023 USATF Outdoor Championships on Saturday (8th). Thomas completed the race with a world-leading time of 21.60 seconds.
Gabby Thomas Blasts To World-Leading Time at USATF Outdoor Championships
Earlier in the day, Thomas recorded a time of 21.86 seconds in the semifinals, showcasing her exceptional form. In the final, she trailed Richardson around the corner but unleashed an impressive burst of speed over the last 70 meters, distancing herself from the rest of the field and securing her second national championship.
“Coming here last year and being injured was really heartbreaking for me so I was really ready this year,” Thomas said after her victory.
Her time improved on the 21.71 seconds world-leading time posted by world champion Shericka Jackson at the 2023 Jamaica Track and Field Championships in Kingston, earlier in the evening. Thomas’ time is also the sixth-fastest in history.
“Every time we step on the track, we have to expect that our competitors are going to just bring it,” said Thomas to reporters.
“Every time we do step on the track, it’s just going to be a really fast time because it has to be – or else you’re not going to survive this event.”
Sha’Carri Richardson, the national 100m champion, had a wind-aided time of 21.69 seconds in the heats on Saturday. She comfortably advanced to the final with a time of 22.18 seconds. In the final, Richardson improved her personal best, finishing second with a time of 21.94 seconds.
Kayla White secured third place with a personal best of 22.01 seconds, earning her ticket to the World Athletics Championships.
Unfortunately, defending national champion Abby Steiner fell short of the podium, finishing fourth with a season-best time of 22.07 seconds, but missed out on a place in the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, which will take place in August.
Erriyon Knighton Wins First National Title
Moving on to the men’s 200m event, Erriyon Knighton, the world bronze medalist, claimed the title with a season-best time of 19.72 seconds, making it the second-fastest time in the world this year.
“It was a very good race. Came here and executed right,” Knighton told reporters after his victory. “We got us a good squad going over there. We will try and do another sweep.”
Kenny Bednarek, the world and Olympic silver medalist, secured second place with a season-best time of 19.82 seconds. Courtney Lindsey from Texas Tech achieved a personal best of 19.85 seconds, earning him third place and securing his spot in the world championships.
Remarkably, all six top finishers in the men’s 200m event broke the 20-second barrier. Fred Kerley, the world 100m champion, clocked a season-best time of 19.86 seconds, finishing fourth. Robert Gregory of Florida, the SEC champion, came in fifth at 19.90 seconds, followed by Christian Coleman, the 2019 world 100m champion, with a time of 19.95 seconds.
Rai Benjamin Was Fast In 400m Hurdles
Rai Benjamin, the world and Olympic champion, set a meeting record of 46.62 seconds in the men’s 400m hurdles, showcasing his dominance in the event. In the women’s category, Shamier Little emerged as the winner with a time of 53.34 seconds, narrowly beating former world record holder Dalilah Muhammad, who finished with a time of 53.53 seconds.
In the longer events, Nia Akins claimed victory in the women’s 800m, finishing with a time of 1:59.50. Raevyn Rogers secured second place with a time of 1:59.83. Bryce Hoppel emerged as the winner in the men’s 800m race, crossing the finish line with a time of 1:46.20.