BUDAPEST, Hungary (August 24) — USA’s Sha’Carri Richardson and Noah Lyles stayed on course in their quest to win respective sprint double at the World Athletics Championships 2023 in Budapest. However, Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson looked prime to defend her title.
In the women’s 200m semifinals, a high-stakes heat saw Richardson and defending champion Jackson pitted against each other.
Jackson took an early lead, finishing the first half strong and maintaining her momentum to clock in at 22.00 seconds. Richardson, not too far behind but running a bit harder, registered 22.20 seconds, edging out Marie-Josée Ta Lou, who finished at 22.26 seconds.
Despite her third-place finish, Ta Lou’s time was swift enough to earn her a spot in the final.
U.S. champion, world-leader and Olympic bronze medalist Gabby Thomas emerged as the fastest qualifier from the women’s 200m semifinals, posting a time of 21.97 seconds to win the first semifinal.
Thomas outpaced 2019 world champion Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain, who secured her final berth with a time of 22.28 seconds.
Meanwhile, St. Lucia’s Julien Alfred, the NCAA champion, also made a mark, winning her semifinal with a time of 22.17 seconds, closely followed by Britain’s Daryll Neita and the Bahamas’ Anthonique Strachan. Neita clocked 22.21 for a personal best and Strachan finished in 22.30.
Noah Lyles runs Cruising 19.76 to lead men’s field
On the men’s side, two-time defending champion Noah Lyles showcased his prowess, comfortably winning his 200m semifinal in 19.76 seconds, despite a preceding delay due to an unforeseen cart collision incident.
Alexander Ogando of the Dominican Republic trailed Lyles, finishing second in the heat with a time of 20.02 seconds.
The men’s 200m semifinals also saw sterling performances from world silver medalist Kenny Bednarek of the USA, who clocked 19.96 seconds, and Letsile Tebogo of Botswana, who finished a hair’s breadth behind at 19.97 seconds.
USA’s Erriyon Knighton led the third heat, registering 19.98 seconds, with 100m bronze medalist, Britain’s Zharnel Hughes close on his heels at 20.02.
Rounding out the qualifiers for the men’s final were Olympic champion Andre De Grasse of Canada and Joseph Fahnbulleh of Liberia, with respective times of 20.10 and 20.21 seconds.