South Africa’s Luxolo Adams never quite got going as American Noah Lyles successfully defended his title in the men’s 200m final at the world athletics championship.
Cape Town – South Africa’s Luxolo Adams never quite got going as American Noah Lyles successfully defended his title in the men’s 200m final at the world athletics championships on Thursday night (Friday morning SA time).
Lyles led a clean sweep of the medals for the United States with a sensational run to claim the gold medal in a superb time of 19.31 seconds, which was a new personal best and the third-fastest time in history.
Only Jamaicans Usain Bolt (world record of 19.19) and Yohan Blake (19.26) have run quicker times, while Lyles went past former record-holder Michael Johnson of the US (19.32).
Fellow Americans Kenny Bednarek (19.77) and teenager Erriyon Knighton (19.80) completed the full haul of medals in front of a boisterous home crowd at Hayward Field stadium at the University of Oregon.
Adams had been drawn in the most difficult lane one, and he seemed to battle to get out of the blocks.
The 25-year-old from Burgersdorp in the Eastern Cape was just about in touch with the rest of the field once they came out of the bend, but the gap was too big to close down.
Adams just could not find a second gear in the second half of the race, and finished in eighth and last position in a time of 20.47 – well off his personal best of 19.82, which would have secured him fourth spot.
He had to watch from the inside over the final 100 metres as the Americans took charge.
Lyles stormed to the front from the start and streaked away at about the 100m mark to win in an outstanding 19.31.
Bednarek managed to hold off the 18-year-old Knighton (19.80) to grab the silver in 19.77 to emulate the American 100m trio of Fred Kerley, Marvin Bracy and Trayvon Bromell on the podium.
There was some success for Mzansi in the women’s 800m heats as youngster Prudence Sekgodiso advanced to the semi-finals.
She went through to the next round as she qualified as a ‘fastest loser’ after finishing fourth in her race in 2:01.60, which was won by American Raevyn Rogers in 2:01.36.
Only the first three athletes in each heat gain automatic qualification, while the next six fastest times advance as well.
Diribe Welteji of Ethiopia was the quickest qualifier in 1:58.83.
Sekgodiso’s semi-final will take place on Friday night (Saturday morning 3.55am SA time), where she will come up against Welteji, defending champion Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda and American star Athing Mu.
The first two athletes in each of the three semi-finals, as well as the two ‘fastest losers’, will go through to the final.
In the men’s 5 000m heats, Precious Mashele (15th in 13:52.37) and Adriaan Wildschutt (18th in 13:44.32) were unable to qualify for the final from their respective races.
The other South African in action was Johan Grobler in the javelin, but his best effort of 76.30m placed him in 11th spot in the first group.
Men’s 200m final results
1 Noah Lyles (USA) 19.31
2 Kenny Bednarek (USA) 19.77
3 Erriyon Knighton (USA) 19.80
4 Joseph Fahnbulleh (LBR) 19.84
5 Alexander Ogando (DOM) 19.93
6 Jereem Richards (TTO) 20.08
7 Aaron Brown (CAN) 20.18
8 Luxolo Adams (RSA) 20.47