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Olympics and unfinished business await for hurdler Holloway while Sha’Carri and Lyles keep blazing


AP National Writer

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — When the track announcer asked Grant Holloway what he thought of his latest win at U.S. track trials, America’s best hurdler made it clear there are bigger things to come.

“If you’re not training to win an Olympic gold medal,” Holloway said, “then what the heck are you doing?”

That mantra has stayed planted in the 26-year-old’s brain over the past three years, ever since an upset loss at the Tokyo Games left him with everything in this sport, except its biggest prize.

On Friday, the three-time world champion earned a trip back to the Olympics, winning the trials with the fourth-fastest time in history, 12.86 seconds, despite clipping the eighth of 10 hurdles in a not-so-subtle reminder of how fickle this event can be.

Others with unfinished business looming at the Olympics include Sha’Carri Richardson and Noah Lyles, each of whom blazed through their 200-meter semifinals to set up races Saturday to qualify for their second event.

Richardson faces a matchup against Gabby Thomas in what could be one of the best races of the trials.

Holloway’s 110 hurdles was up there, too, though he’s well aware that making the games and bringing home Olympic gold are two different things.

In Tokyo three years ago, he cleared all 10 hurdles but faded late and lost by 0.05 to Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment, who runs in his country’s national championship this weekend. Holloway called it one of the worst races he’d ever run and one of Parchment’s best.

Friday’s race marked Holloway’s third sub-13 run of the season — the second-fastest of his career. Freddie Crittenden was 0.07 seconds behind and Daniel Roberts finished third in 12.96, making this the first race in history with three sub-13 times.

Could an American sweep in the short hurdles — a la what Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin pulled off for the U.S. in the women’s race in 2016 — be in the offing this summer?

“We’ve already put it out there,” Holloway said. “I think me, Daniel and Freddie have probably already thought about it once we came through that finish line.”

Sha’Carri vs. Gabby Thomas

Sha’Carri Richardson ran her personal-best time. Gabby Thomas ran the season’s best time.

Up next, a showdown in the final between two of the best this year at 200 meters.

Thomas, the Olympic bronze medalist in 2021, glanced up to the scoreboard and looked surprised when she saw the “21.78” by her name after her semifinal. The mark bettered the best of 2024 by 0.05.

Richardson was every bit as pleased with her 21.92, which matched a personal best.

“It just shows I’ve been working, not just me but my team, preparing for this moment,” Richardson said.

Thomas ran a smooth curve and accelerated down the homestretch to hit a time even she wasn’t expecting. She said she’d love to put another low number up in the final Saturday.

“I absolutely would,” she said. “If I make the team, I want to come out with another world lead, another ‘pb’ and just show everyone I’m ready to compete.”

Also in the final will be NCAA champion McKenzie Long, whose 21.83 was the best of 2024 before Friday.

Lyles vs. clock

Lyles ran a wind-aided 19.60 to win his semifinal, and was thinking about more than the Olympic spot he’ll be racing for Saturday.

“After the 100s, I was thinking I could come out here and attack the American record again, maybe the world record. We’ll see,” said Lyles, who won the 100 last weekend.

Two summers ago on this track, Lyles ran 19.31 to beat by .01 Michael Johnson’s hallowed American record, set at the Atlanta Games in 1996. The world record belongs to Usain Bolt at 19.19.

Rai Benjamin

Olympic silver medalist Rai Benjamin stayed on pace for a return to the games, finishing his semifinal in the 400 hurdles in 47.97, the only sub-48 time of the meet so far.

Benjamin ran 46.17 at the Tokyo Games to finish second in the fastest 400 hurdle race ever. His mark would have been a world record were it not for Norway’s Karsten Warholm, who ran 45.94.

They appear headed for a rematch in Paris. Benjamin said he sees no need to post a time in Sunday’s final as a way of sending a message.

“It’s just about making this team,” Benjamin said. “Once I do that, everything else will take care of itself.”

Kara Winger returns

Javelin thrower Kara Winger bought herself a few more throws to turn her comeback into her fifth trip to the Olympics.

Next up, she needs to eke out another meter.

The 38-year-old threw 63.01 meters (206 feet, 8 inches) to win qualifying and advance to Sunday’s finals. But it will take more than a mere top-three finish for her to make it to Paris. She will also need to throw 64 meters, which is the Olympic qualifying standard.

“Every single throw matters, every single throw can be 64 meters,” she said. “And I know I have it in me. But (63.01 is) the farthest I’ve ever thrown at trials.”


—Eric Holt, who made a splash by getting a sponsor this week at trials, initially earned the last qualifying spot for 800 final but was later disqualified for a lane infraction.

—Two-time triple jump gold medalist Christian Taylor, making one last run at the Olympics, advanced through qualifying and will jump for a spot in Sunday’s final.

—Also returning to the track this weekend is 41-year-old hurdler Lolo Jones, who finished last in her heat but advanced because no one was eliminated in a small prelim field.


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