2024 Track and Field Olympic Trials: Gabby Thomas wins 200m finals, Noah Lyles makes history

The 200m teams for Paris are officially set, headlined by Tokyo Olympic bronze medalists Gabby Thomas and Noah Lyles.

Thomas qualified for her second Olympics after winning the track and field trials Saturday night. She heads to Paris with a top time of 21.81. Joining her are Brittany Brown, a first-time Olympian who ran a personal best 21.90, and McKenzie Long, another first-timer who finished with a 21.91.

Sha’Carri Richardson, a favorite in the 200m who’s already made the 100m Olympic team, barely missed out on qualifying for her second event with a fourth-place finish of 22.16.

“This is incredible,” Thomas told NBC. “I knew I had to get today done, and this was the first step. There is no gold medal in Paris without making the team today, so I’m just ecstatic. To be alongside these amazing, incredible women and everyone in the final, it’s just such an amazing race.”

Brown expressed gratitude upon making her first trip to the Olympics, saying, “It’s been a long journey to get here. My coach said it was going to be a fight, and I fought all the way to the end.”

Long, a North Carolina State standout, has been guided by her late mother, Tara Jones, throughout her Olympic journey. Long was often seen talking to her mother alone in the stands before racing. Long’s emotional message to her was, “Mom, your baby girl [is] going to Paris.”

“I’m just really happy I was able to execute my race,” she added. “I’m just very proud of myself and proud of these girls for pushing me in this 200. I’m doing it for you, mom.”

In the men’s final, Lyles finished with a record-breaking 19.53, breaking a trials record previously held by Michael Johnson since 1996. Joining him are Kenny Bednarek with a time of 19.59 and first-time Olympian Eeriyon Knighton, who ran a 19.77. Christian Coleman, who barely missed the cut at the 100m final, also came in fourth in the 200m with a time of 19.89. Lyles and Bednarek will be doubling at the Olympics, competing in both the 100m and 200m.

“I’m blessed, man. Truly blessed,” Lyles said following his feat. “I’ve said it all season, but it helps to not have depression. I thank God every day. Every time I got on this track, I just kept saying, ‘Thank you God, thank you God, thank you God,’ for getting me through each and every round.”

Lyles also sent out a congratulatory tweet towards the Jamaican team, thanking them for making this an excellent Olympic trials.

“It’s gonna be great regardless, but the USA is the USA,” he said. “We ain’t taking anything light, we don’t give anything. You gotta take [it] from us.”

“To double at the Olympics and represent my country, it means a lot,” Bednarek said. “With this race, I had it, but I tightened up a little bit, so I’m gonna get [Lyles] next time. I’m on his case.”

Knighton credited his coach, Mike Holloway, for his success in his first Olympic trials, saying, “When you listen to your coach, you can pretty much do anything you want to… We made the team. It’s my first competition of the year, so I’m really grateful.”

The track and field events of the Paris Olympics begin August 1. The first round of the women’s 200m begins Sunday, August 4, at 4:55 a.m. ET, while the first round of the men’s 200m starts Monday, August 5, at 1:55 p.m. ET.

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