Wayde van Niekerk eases up at Boost Boston Games; Noah Lyles second in 100m

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Noah Lyles took second in the 100m on Boylston Street at the Boost Boston Games on Sunday, minutes after Wayde van Niekerk, the 400m world-record holder, eased up in the 200m with tightness in his right hip.

Lyles, an Olympic medal contender in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m, finished second to countryman Isiah Young. Young clocked 9.94 seconds, while Lyles registered 10.10.

The world 200m champion Lyles’ best 100m time in four races this year is 10.08, two tenths behind Olympic favorite Trayvon Bromell. Lyles said before the meet that he wanted more racing in the 100m to prepare for the Olympic Trials in one month, when the top three qualify for the individual Olympic race.

“I have complete faith that I’m going to be ready when the time comes,” said Lyles, who expects to race again before Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

About 15 minutes before the 100m, van Niekerk eased up across the finish line to finish fourth in a five-man 200m.

Van Niekerk initially kept from putting his right foot down, then eventually sat down. He later walked off, pointing at his right hip. His coach told NBC Sports’ Lewis Johnson that van Niekerk decided not to push through the end of the race and will be OK.

Van Niekerk is coming back from tearing an ACL and meniscus in his right leg playing celebrity tag rugby in 2017.

In the meet’s strongest field, world-record holder Keni Harrison won the 100m hurdles in 12.49 into a .9 meter/second headwind. Harrison, who lowered the world record to 12.20 two weeks after failing to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, on Sunday beat Jamaican Danielle Williams and Nigerian Tobi Amusan, who were third and fourth at 2019 Worlds.

Olympic 400m hurdles bronze medalist Ashley Spencer pulled up and did not finish the 200m hurdles.

Full meet results are here. The track and field season continues with a Diamond League meet in Doha on Friday, including Justin Gatlin.

Earlier at the Diamond League opener in Great Britain, Brit Dina Asher-Smith handed American sprint phenom Sha’Carri Richardson her first 100m defeat since the 2019 USATF Outdoor Championships.

Asher-Smith, the world 100m silver medalist and 200m gold medalist, clocked 11.35 seconds under the chilly rain and into a 3.1 m/s headwind. Richardson, the world’s fastest woman this year at 10.72, was second in 11.44.

“Tokyo will be hot remember that,” Richardson tweeted afterward.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the two-time Olympic champion and reigning world champion, was fourth in 11.51 in her first international outdoor race since 2019 Worlds.

American Kenny Bednarek pulled away to win the 200m in 20.33 into a 3 m/s headwind. He beat a field that included Olympic and world silver medalist Andre De Grasse of Canada (third in 20.85). Bednarek, who ran for Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa, before turning pro in 2019, ranks second in the world since the start of 2020 behind Lyles.

Full Gateshead results are here.

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