Lyles, Richardson anchor US sweep of relays at world championships
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Sha’Carri Richardson and Noah Lyles anchored the U.S. to back-to-back victories in the 4x100 Saturday, giving the Americans a sweep of the short relays at the world championships for the first time since 2007.
For Lyles, it closed out a 3-for-3 championships. He’s the first man since Usain Bolt in 2015 to win the 100, 200 and 4x100 at worlds.
When Lyles crossed the line, closing out a lap of 37.38 seconds for the U.S., he lifted three fingers in the air to punctuate what he's done.
Bolt won all three races at three championships, and also at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Now, Lyles will be trying to do it in Paris in 2024.
The men stayed on the track to watch the women, and when Richardson crossed, lead runner Christian Coleman came out and tackled the 100-meter champion and they fell to the track. Richardson popped right back up and everyone laughed. She will leave Budapest with her two golds, plus a bronze in the 200.
The U.S. women finished in 41.03 — .18 ahead of Jamaica — with Britain finishing third.
Italy finished second in the men's race at 37.62 followed by Jamaica.
This is the sort of finish that was supposed to be routine for the United States, which for decades has brought the deepest group of fast sprinters into the relay and did so again this time.
This race has never been simply about speed, though, and the U.S. has had tons of problems with baton passes over the years.
Those sticks have cost the men wins in 12 worlds and Olympics since 1995. The women have had their share of trouble, too, and as if to drive that point home once more, it was the women's 4x400 team that ran into problems about an hour before the 4x100 runners took to the track.
Quanera Hayes and Alexis Holmes passed outside the lane in qualifying of the longer race, where the exchange isn't even supposed to be hard, and the U.S. was DQ'd.
All that felt like ancient history by the time Richardson took the baton from 200 silver medalist Gabby Thomas, took off and outran none other than 200 gold medalist Shericka Jackson to the finish line. It didn't hurt that Thomas handed it to her with about a two-step lead that Richardson held onto throughout the final leg.
The exchange between Brandon Carnes and Lyles wasn't quite as clean, and the American had about a step on Jamaica's Rohan Watson once he received the baton. The best closer in this race wasn't Jamaican, though. It was Lyles, and he was screaming the moment he crossed to finish this meet 3 for 3.
The U.S. closed the night with 27 medals and one day of competition left. Some would argue none of them will be sweeter than these two.