(Reuters) – Noah Lyles retained the upper hand in his rivalry with fellow American Erriyon Knighton on Saturday, taking first place in the 150 metres at the Atlanta City Games as he steps up preparations to defend his 200m crown at this year’s World Championships.
Lyles, bronze medallist at the Tokyo Games, scorched to victory in 14.56 seconds to become the third-fastest athlete of all time over the distance behind Jamaican Usain Bolt and compatriot Tyson Gay. The 150m is not a World Athletics-recognised event.
Teenager Knighton, who took bronze at last year’s World Championships, finished second in 14.85 in the inaugural edition of the tournament in Atlanta, Georgia.
Third-placed Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya clocked a time of 14.89 seconds to better Namibian Frankie Fredericks’s mark of 14.99 and set a new African record, adding to his African men’s 100m record.
Earlier on Saturday, United States’ Olympic silver medallist Kendra Harrison finished second in the women’s 100m hurdles behind Tia Jones.
This year’s world championships are scheduled to take place in Budapest, Hungary from Aug. 19-27.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)