Noah Lyles opens Diamond League with 200m win over Olympic medalists

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Noah Lyles edged Fred Kerley in a 200m battle between U.S. Olympic sprint medalists at the Diamond League season opener in Doha on Friday.

Lyles, the Olympic bronze medalist and reigning world champion at 200m, clocked 19.72 seconds with a 2.1 meter per second tailwind, slightly above the limit for record purposes.

Kerley, the Olympic 100m silver medalist, was second in 19.75, just quicker than his wind-legal personal best of 19.76.

Andre De Grasse, the Olympic champion from Canada, was fourth in 20.15.

All of those men are looking up this year at 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton, who clocked 19.49 two weeks ago. Knighton was not in the Doha field but will be a leading contender at the USATF Outdoor Championships in June, where the top three in most events qualify for July’s world championships. Both meets are in Eugene, Oregon.

Lyles has a bye onto the world championships team as reigning world champion.

“I perform better under pressure,” Lyles said, according to meet organizers. “I feel good and satisfied about my position right now. My plan for the world championship is to win, to always win.”

Full Doha results are here.

The Diamond League continues May 21 with a meet in Birmingham, Great Britain, featuring Olympic 100m and 200m champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica.

In other events Friday, Olympic silver medalist Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic handed two-time Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas her first 400m defeat since the 2019 World Championships.

Paulino won in 51.20 seconds, while Miller-Uibo was third in 51.84, her lowest finish in a 400m since 2017 and her slowest international race since 2014.

Brazilian Alison dos Santos surged past American Rai Benjamin to win the 400m hurdles in 47.24. Benjamin ran 47.49 in a battle between the Olympic silver and bronze medalists and second- and third-fastest men in history.

Olympic bronze medalist Gabby Thomas won the women’s 200m in 21.98 seconds, defeating Olympic 100m bronze medalist Shericka Jackson of Jamaica and 2019 World champion Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain.

Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, the 2016 Olympic 800m silver medalist who since moved up in distance due to a testosterone limit, won the 3000m (not an Olympic distance) over two-time Olympic 1500m gold medalist Faith Kipyegon of Kenya.

Niyonsaba, 29, ranked fourth in the world in the 5000m last year by best time but was controversially disqualified at the Olympics for a lane infringement in the heats.

Olympic champion Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco won the 3000m steeplechase by .01 over Tokyo silver medalist Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia. The race included the top five from the Games.

World champion Anderson Peters of Grenada improved his personal best in the javelin by nearly 19 feet, winning with a 93.07-meter throw. He moved from the 53rd-best performer in history to No. 5.

In the high jump, Woo Sang-Hyeok of South Korea upset co-Olympic gold medalists Mutaz Barshim of Qatar (second) and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy (seventh).

Chase Ealey, Maggie Ewen and Jessica Ramsey made it a U.S. one-two-three in the shot put.

The men’s pole vault featuring Olympic champion and world-record holder Mondo Duplantis of Sweden was not held due to high winds.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde
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BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

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Summer McIntosh, Canadian teen swimmer, caps record year with another historic time

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Summer McIntosh swam the fourth-fastest 400m individual medley in history on Friday, capping a year that already included world titles, Commonwealth Games titles and a victory over Katie Ledecky.

McIntosh, a 16-year-old Canadian whose mom swam at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, won the 400m IM in 4 minutes, 28.61 seconds at the U.S. Open in Greensboro, N.C. She prevailed by a Ledecky-like 13.24 seconds, breaking her own national record that was previously the fourth-fastest time in history.

“It’s still pretty early in the season, so I didn’t really know what to expect going into it,” she said on Peacock.

The only two women who ever went faster in the event known as the decathlon of swimming are Olympic gold medalists: Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (world record 4:26.36 and 4:28.58) and China’s Ye Shiwen (4:28.43).

McIntosh has come a long way in a short time. Three years ago, she put all her eggs in the 1500m freestyle basket, thinking it was her best shot to merely qualify for the Tokyo Games in 2020. The one-year Olympic postponement was a blessing.

The rapidly improving McIntosh swam three individual events in Tokyo with a top finish of fourth in the 400m free, just missing becoming the youngest swimming medalist since 1996. She then told her coach she wanted to become an IMer.

At this past June’s world championships, McIntosh won two of the most grueling events — 400m IM and 200m butterfly — to become the youngest individual world champion since 2011. She also took silver to Ledecky in the 400m free, an event in which she later beat Ledecky in a short-course meet (25-meter pool rather than the 50-meter pool used for the Olympics).

A month after worlds, McIntosh swept the IMs at the Commonwealth Games, where she broke more world junior records and again took second in the 400m free (this time to Olympic champ and world record holder Ariarne Titmus of Australia).

McIntosh, who turned professional last year, now trains full-time in Sarasota, Florida, where she rents a house with her mom, Jill Horstead, who was ninth in the 200m fly at the 1984 Olympics (McIntosh, whose passions include the Kardashians and plants from Target, has seen video of her mom winning the B final at those Games). They’re a three-hour drive down Interstate 75 from Ledecky’s base in Gainesville.

Also Friday, Erin Gemmell celebrated her 18th birthday by nearly becoming the first American to beat Ledecky in a 200m freestyle in nearly nine years. Ledecky won by 42 hundredths of a second in 1:56.74 and said she had an off-day while also praising Gemmell, the daughter of her former coach.

NBC airs U.S. Open highlights on Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

U.S. OPEN SWIMMING: Full Results

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