Sha’Carri Richardson and Jenna Prandini Shine in Women’s 200m at Olympic Trials

Sha’Carri Richardson and former University of Oregon star Jenna Prandini have advanced to the semifinals of the women’s 200 meters at the Olympic trials held at Hayward Field.

Sha’Carri Richardson Dominates with the Fastest Time

Sha’Carri Richardson, who recently clinched the 100-meter title, continued her impressive performance by running the fastest time in the opening round of the 200 meters. Richardson clocked in at 21.99 seconds, making her the only athlete in the four first-round heats to break the 22-second barrier. Her dominant performance saw her comfortably win her heat, outpacing runner-up Abby Steiner by three-tenths of a second.

Prandini Advances with a Strong Finish

Jenna Prandini, a two-time Olympian, also advanced by finishing second in her heat. Prandini’s primary goal was to secure a favorable lane for the semifinals, as she was assigned lane 8 for the Thursday heat. “The most important thing is to get a good lane to set us up to get through to the final,” Prandini noted. “Lane 8, you’re kind of running blind a little bit. My goal (tonight) was to run a really hard curve, come off the curve and remain smooth.”

Other Notable Advancements

Several other athletes also made it to the semifinals. Gabby Thomas, the reigning USATF champion, Abby Steiner, the 2022 national champion, and Ducks senior Jadyn Mays all advanced to the next round. Thomas posted a time of 22.11 seconds, the second-fastest of the heats.

Men’s 200m: Lyles Leads the Pack

In the men’s 200 meters, Noah Lyles picked up where he left off by winning his heat with a time of 20.10 seconds, the fastest of the day. Lyles, who already secured the 100-meter title at the trials, expressed confidence in his performance. “I felt really smooth, really loose,” Lyles said. “It’s a little harder to come back in the 200 and have that explosive aggressiveness in the first round.”

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Former University of Oregon star Kyree King also advanced to Friday’s semifinals, posting a time of 20.50 seconds, the 12th fastest overall.

Women’s 400m Hurdles: McLaughlin-Levrone and Muhammad Impress

World record-holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone dominated the first-round qualifying of the women’s 400-meter hurdles. She won her heat in 53.07 seconds, the fastest time overall. McLaughlin-Levrone’s performance left her competition far behind, with Deonca Bookman finishing second in the heat with a time of 56.25 seconds.

Veteran hurdler Dalilah Muhammad, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist, won her heat with a time of 55.51 seconds and announced that this would be her last Olympic trials. Muhammad recently changed coaches, moving back to Lawrence Johnson, who had previously coached her to significant success. “We started this — not at the beginning of my pro career, but the part where I got really good,” Muhammad reflected.

Men’s 400m Hurdles: Benjamin’s Quest for Gold

Rai Benjamin began his pursuit of an elusive gold medal by easily winning his 400-meter hurdles heat. Benjamin, a four-time national champion, led from the start and coasted to victory. Other heat winners included Chris Robinson, Caleb Dean, Trevor Bassitt, and C.J. Allen. These athletes will compete in Friday’s semifinals.

Benjamin, who holds three silver medals and a bronze from previous Olympics and world championships, recently ran the fastest 400 hurdles time of the season at 46.64 seconds in Los Angeles. “The opener was really fast, and I felt like I needed time for my body to come down from that,” Benjamin said. “Felt kind of sore after that as well; fastest (season) opener ever for me.”

Looking Ahead

As the trials progress, athletes like Richardson, Prandini, Lyles, McLaughlin-Levrone, Muhammad, and Benjamin continue to showcase their talents and aim for Olympic glory. The semifinals and finals promise to be highly competitive and thrilling as these athletes vie for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

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