Lyles into 200m final despite gaffe as De Grasse, Knighton impress

Tokyo (AFP) –


World champion Noah Lyles endured a finish-line gaffe to qualify from Tuesday's semi-finals for the Olympic 200 metres finals on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old inexplicably slowed up with 10 metres of his semi to run and was promptly overtaken at the line by Canada's Aaron Brown and Liberian Joseph Fahnbulleh, all three credited with 19.99sec.

It meant Lyles didn't qualify automatically as one of the first two finishers, instead handed an anxious wait as the third and final semi-final went ahead.

That was won in some style by Brown's teammate Andre de Grasse, the Rio silver medallist, who clocked a national record of 19.73sec ahead of American Kenneth Bednarek, in 19.83.

Lyles was left a sigh of relief as he qualified as one of the next two fastest, along with Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago.

US teen sensation Erriyon Knighton won the opening semi-final convincingly in 20.02sec, scoring a psychological blow by casually looking across the field no less than four times on the back stretch through to the line.

The 17-year-old will become one of the youngest ever 200m finalists when he lines up at the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday.