Holloway makes Olympics with 110 hurdles win as Lyles, Richardson roll on

Noah Lyles (centre) in action. File photo

Three-time world champion Grant Holloway punched his ticket to the Paris Olympics on Friday in the 110m hurdles at the US trials, while Noah Lyles and Sha’Carri Richardson cruised into the 200m finals.

Holloway won the 110 hurdles final in 12.86secs, the fastest time in the world this year, with Freddie Crittenden second in a personal best 12.93 and Daniel Roberts third in a personal best 12.96.

“Two-time Olympian, it just speaks for itself,” Holloway said. “My goal was to come out here and execute each round.”

Reigning three-time world 200 champion Lyles and reigning world 100 champion Richardson remained on course for 100-200 sprint doubles in France, by advancing from the semi-finals to Saturday’s 200 finals at Hayward Field.

Holloway, 26, won 110 hurdles world crowns in 2019 at Doha, 2022 at Eugene and last year in Budapest as well as world indoor 60 hurdles titles in Belgrade in 2022 and this year at Glasgow.

Now he hopes to add to an Olympic medal haul that began with silver at Tokyo three years ago after losing momentum over the last three hurdles.

“Obviously, 2021 was just a bitter race so my main goal was to just come out here and make the team,” Holloway said.

“Now, (in) four or five weeks, be ready to do it again.”

Lyles, who won the 100 last weekend at the US trials in 9.83 secs, won his semi-final heat in a wind-aided 19.60secs (2.5m/sec) with Christian Coleman second in 19.89.

“It felt real easy,” Lyles said of his run. “I was very shocked to see that time pop up. I wasn’t even really trying. Shut down pretty hard too in the end.”

Lyles eyes his American record of 19.31 and the world record of 19.19 by Usain Bolt.

“I can come out here and attack the American record again, maybe world record, we’ll see,” Lyles said.

‘Divine timing’

Three years after a positive marijuana test saw her kicked off the US team for the Tokyo Olympics, Richardson captured the women’s 100 final in 10.71 last weekend.

Richardson said a chance to run the 100-200 double in Paris would be a feat from a higher power.

“It would show that divine timing is everything and what is meant to happen is going to happen,” Richardson said.

“Nothing will stop it and I will feel like it’s my responsibility to the USA to go to Paris and bring back those medals,” she added.

In the 200 semi-finals, Richardson won her heat in 21.92secs, matching her personal best.

“That just shows I’ve been working, preparing for this moment. Executing every single time I step onto the track,” Richardson said.

“I’m super excited I was able to equal my PR (personal record). I’m just looking forward to tomorrow and just busting it wide open.”

Gabby Thomas, however, won her heat in 21.78, the fastest time in the world this year, to lead finalists. She took 200 bronze at Tokyo, 200 silver at the 2023 worlds and wants more in Paris.

“I was really happy with that. It felt like a very smooth and easy run for me,” Thomas said of her semi-final run.

“I want to come out with another world-lead, another PB, and show everyone I’m ready to compete.”

Tokyo Olympic 400 hurdles runner-up Rai Benjamin led finals qualifiers by winning his semi-final heat in 47.97secs.

“It’s just about making this team,” Benjamin said. “Once I do that, everything else will take care of itself.”

Reigning Olympic women’s pole vault champion Katie Moon cleared 4.50 to reach the finals.

Two-time reigning world women’s shot put champion Chase Jackson and Tokyo Olympic runner-up Raven Saunders led qualifiers for the finals.

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