Sha’carri Richardson and Gabby Thomas will face each other in the 200-meter final

Sha’carri Richardson and Gabby Thomas, two of America’s best-known sprinters, will meet Saturday in Oregon in the highly anticipated 200-meter final of the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Team Trials.

No one came close to Richardson in their semifinal series on Friday. She matched her personal best of 21.92 seconds.

Thomas, who ran in a different heat to Richardson, then upped the ante with a spectacular 21.78, the world best for 2024.

“I was very happy with that,” Thomas told NBC Sports moments after the series. “It was a very calm and easy race for me. I didn’t really know what to expect. So to see that kind of time for something that felt so good and controlled was a good feeling.”

Stream every moment and every medal from the Paris 2024 Olympics on Peacock, starting with the opening ceremony on July 26 at 12 pm ET.

Richardson said she was looking forward to Saturday’s final and “doing her best.”

The shot for the final set of the women’s 200 meters was scheduled to go off at around 8:27 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday.

Saturday’s action at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, will also include the men’s 200-meter final and the feature World numbers 1 and 2 Noah Lyles and Kenny Bednarek, with Lyles taking bronze and Bednarek taking silver over that distance in Tokyo.

Lyles’ time of 19.60 in Friday’s seminal event was a U.S. Olympic trials record.

“It felt really easy,” said Lyles, who has already qualified for the 100 meters in Paris. “I was really surprised to see that time come up. I wasn’t even trying.”

The men’s 200 final will begin around 9:49 p.m. ET.

Earlier this week, Richardson claimed victory in the 100 meters, sealing her ticket to Paris as she seeks the crown of “the world’s fastest woman.”

Richardson, a Dallas native and LSU alum, tested positive for THC after qualifying for the Tokyo Games and missed the competition.

He admitted taking the drug to cope with his mother’s death, and his supporters lashed out at the U.S. Doping Agency’s policies on cannabis in an era when the drug is increasingly legalized across the United States. .

Qualifying for Paris in both the 100 and 200 meters “would show that divine timing is everything,” Richardson said after the semi-final heat.

“I will feel it is my responsibility to the United States… to go to Paris and bring back those medals,” she said.

Thomas, a Harvard alumna, took bronze in the 200 meters in Tokyo. She and Richardson are ranked second and sixth, respectively, in the world in that event.

Jamaican Shericka Jackson, competing in her national trials this weekend in Kingston, took home gold at the last Olympics.

Other finals scheduled for Saturday in Eugene include the men’s and women’s 20K race walk, men’s discus, women’s long jump, women’s shot put and women’s 10,000 meters.

The shot put competition includes Tokyo silver medalist Raven Saunders, who will be seeking her third trip to the Olympics.

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