Devon Allen is preparing to begin an NFL career, but before that he ran the third-fastest 110m hurdles in history at the NYC Grand Prix on Sunday.
Allen, who in April signed to play wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, clocked 12.84 seconds at Icahn Stadium. It was his first race since missing about 10 days of training (and Eagles organized team activities) due to testing positive for COVID on May 29.
The only men to run faster: fellow Americans Aries Merritt (world record 12.80) and Grant Holloway (12.81), who was second to Allen on Sunday in 13.06.
“I knew it was there,” Allen told Lewis Johnson on NBC. “Just needed some fresh legs. I was doing OTAs in Philly, having some fun with the boys playing football, but now I’m back in track mode.”
Allen, who was fourth and fifth at the last two Olympics, will switch to football full-time after the world championships in July. First, he must finish in the top three at the USATF Outdoor Championships next week to make the world team. Both meets are in Eugene, Oregon.
On Sunday, he lowered his personal best from 12.99 and became the first man to break 13 seconds in 2022.
In other events Sunday, Noah Lyles won the men’s 200m in 19.61, ranking second in the world this year behind 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton. Lyles has a bye into worlds as reigning world champion but still plans to race the event at nationals.
“That’s about right,” said Lyles. whose personal best is 19.50. “My average is 19.6, so when I run I want to see 19.6 … or better.
“There’s still some more that I’ve done in practice that I want to see on the track.”
Aleia Hobbs won the 100m in a personal-best 10.83 to become the fourth-fastest woman in the world this year and the fastest American. Sha’Carri Richardson was second in 10.85, her best time since last June’s Olympic Trials.
Richardson later ran her first 200m since September, winning in 22.38 to rank sixth among Americans this year.
“I feel phenomenal,” Richardson, who wore red fishnet designs around her arms and legs, said after the 100m and before the 200m. Last year, she initially won the Olympic Trials 100m, then was disqualified for testing positive for marijuana, ruling her out of the Tokyo Games.
Christian Coleman won the men’s 100m in 9.92, his first sub-10 since winning the 2019 World title in the world’s best time in that Olympic cycle. Coleman, who has a bye into worlds as defending champ, missed the Olympics due to a suspension for missing (but not failing) drug tests.
The world’s fastest man this year is Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala, who ran 9.85 last month.
Olympic 400m hurdles champion Sydney McLaughlin scratched from running the flat 400m, saying her coach, Bob Kersee, pulled her from the meet, though she felt great in warm-up.
“It’s close to trials, and [Kersee] just wants to focus on that,” she said.
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