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Team USA Medals in 200-Meter Men's Final for First Time in 13 Years at Tokyo Olympics

·2-min read
Team USA
Team USA

Team USA medaled in the men's 200-meter final for the first time in 13 years at the Tokyo Olympics, taking silver and bronze.

Kenny Bednarek, 22, earned the silver medal on Wednesday with a time of 19.68, while Noah Lyles, 24, took bronze with a time of 19.74. Both became first-time medalists in their first Olympic Games.

"The 200m has been my main focus, perfecting it to the best of my abilities," Lyles told PEOPLE after qualifying for the Summer Games, adding that his training has been "focused, but with a light heart because I still want to be me and I'm a very lighthearted guy."

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Fellow Team USA sprinter Erriyon Knighton, 17, finished close behind in fourth place, coming in at 19.93. Knighton is the youngest male Olympian to compete in the event since 1984.

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The victory marked the first time Team USA won multiple medals in the event since the Beijing Olympics in 2008, when Shawn Crawford, 43, won silver and Walter Dix, 35, took bronze. The U.S. previously swept the podium in the event at the 2004 Athens Games.

It was Team Canada's Andre De Grasse, 26, who claimed the gold medal on Wednesday, finishing strong in the second half of the race and besting the competition with a time of 19.62, the fastest time on record for a Canadian in the event. This is the fifth medal for De Grasse in his Olympic career, and his highest finish since winning silver in the men's 200 in 2016. He and Bednarek both ran their personal bests with Wednesday's event.

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"I've been through so much these last five years on and off the track," De Grasse said after winning gold, according to The Washington Post. "In 2016 I was a kid and inexperienced, but now I have so many expectations to come away with medals and I wanted to show the world all my injuries are behind me and I can bring home a gold medal."

De Grasse is the first person to win gold in the event after Jamaica's Usain Bolt, 34, enjoyed a streak of three consecutive wins in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Bolt retired from the sport in 2017, before he moved on to a brief stint with the Australian soccer club Central Coast Mariners.

To learn more about all the Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, visit Watch the Tokyo Olympics beginning July 23rd and the Tokyo Paralympics beginning August 24th on NBC.

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