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Noah Lyles wins 100 meters at US trials to qualify for Paris Olympics

<i>Patrick Smith/Getty Images via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Lyles poses with the flag and his gold medal after the race.
Patrick Smith/Getty Images via CNN Newsource
Lyles poses with the flag and his gold medal after the race.

By Sam Joseph, CNN

(CNN) — World champion Noah Lyles sealed his spot at the Olympics Games in Paris this year, winning the men’s 100 meters at the US Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon on Sunday.

After winning the semifinal earlier in the day, Lyles tied his personal best of 9.83 seconds to cross the line first in the final and punch his ticket to France.

He was followed by Kenny Bednarek in second with a time 9.87 seconds (a personal best), while Fred Kerley was third with a season’s best 9.88. Both sprinters – who won a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the 100m and 200m respectively – also qualified for Paris.

Lyles – the reigning 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay world champion – missed out on the 100m in Tokyo after finishing seventh at the trials. He made it into the 200m event however, winning a bronze medal.

“Three years ago I got second to last. This year I came and won it,” he told reporters after the race. “Part of the plan. Nothing changed. Might be a shock to everybody else, but when you know the goal, you know the goal.

“If I didn’t get that third place in Tokyo, I wouldn’t have had that desire. I wouldn’t have had that fire burning. I wouldn’t have accomplished what I have accomplished in the past.”

“Now we constantly look to the future with open eyes because anything can happen,” he added.

Lyles appeared confident from the get-go, bouncing out ahead of his competitors and hyping up the crowd when he was introduced as the last entrant in the final.

His confidence carried through to the finish line, raising his finger to the sky in celebration before the race had concluded.

Lyles was made to work for his victory, though – 2019 world champion Christian Coleman exploded out of the blocks to take an early lead, but began to fade around the halfway point and eventually finished in fourth place, 0.05 seconds behind Kerley.

With American representation in the 100m set, Lyles will be aiming to do the double later this week by winning the 200m, which would give him the opportunity to improve upon the bronze he claimed in Tokyo three years ago.

“I’m ready. That American record is looking vulnerable,” he told the media.

The Olympics will take place from July 26 to August 11, with men’s 100m final scheduled for August 4.

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