Noah Lyles shows his flash and speeds through finals to earn a spot at the Olympics in 100 meters

Noah Lyles locked down the first major step in his quest for an Olympic sprint double on Sunday, coming from behind to win the 100 meters at U.S. track trials in 9.83 seconds to qualify for that race in Paris

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The bright red running suit, the white pearls and the gold medal said it all.

Noah Lyles is the flashiest, and the fastest, sprinter in the United States — maybe even the world.

We'll all get to find out later this summer in Paris thanks to a come-from-behind victory for Lyles in the 100 meters at U.S. track trials on Sunday — a 9.83-second sprint that secured his spot at an Olympics where he has his sights set on electrifying his sport.

“This was basically the plan, and the plan is working right now,” Lyles said.

Lyles came from the back half of the field to match his best time ever in the sprint that crowns the Fastest Man in the World.

He beat 200-meter specialist Kenny Bednarek by .04. Fred Kerley, the 2022 world champion, finished in third and will also go to Paris. Christian Coleman, the 2019 world champ, was in the lead with about 30 meters left but finished fourth.

The Lyles win makes the American sprint favorites 2 for 2 after three days of these trials. It comes a day after Sha'Carri Richardson also lived up to expectations and won the women's 100 to earn her trip to Paris.

Both of these sprinters shine in their own way. Lyles is on a mission to lift up an entire sport that has been dimmer ever since Usain Bolt exited stage right after the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

In keeping with that theme, the 26-year-old Lyles showed up to Hayward Field in a neatly tailored sports coat and pants and was handed a briefcase containing his freshly pressed racing uniform. He wore white pearls for the race, and when he was introduced, he leaped and jumped about 30 yards down the track, imploring the crowd to get on its feet.

Snoop Dogg was in the house and has taken in some of the action with Lyles' mother, who is almost as entertaining to watch as her son; up in the stands, she fell to her knees after Noah reeled in Kerley to his right, then Coleman and Bednarek to his left.

“Every step I took felt more powerful than the last,” Lyles said. “I was like, ‘I got this race.’ I told myself I wasn't going to ease up.”

But he did, lifting his index finger in the air just before the finish line and beating his chest after he crossed it.

This marks the second national title in the 100 for Lyles, who has three 200-meter world titles but reimagined his goals after a disappointing third-place finish at the Tokyo Games in that race. Last summer, the world saw the work start to pay off.

Lyles won the world championship at 100, 200 and the 4x100 relay last year in Budapest, Hungary. His 100 time on a cool, still night in Eugene matched the mark he ran to win worlds. If he can pull off the triple again, he would be in company with Bolt, the Jamaican great who went 3 for 3 all three times he raced at the Olympics.

“He’s the package,” said Lyles' coach, Lance Brauman. "That doesn’t mean that we don’t have to do some things to get better and keep going forward. But he enjoys that part of it. He loves to be at the track. He loves to be at training. I mean, he loves the race. It’s just who he is.”

Lyles, who races next weekend for a spot in the 200, might even be in the mix to win four medals. No. 4 could come in the 4x400, and if he does that, he would be in the company of the likes of Carl Lewis and even Jesse Owens.

Kendricks and the Olympics

Pole vaulter Sam Kendricks remains jaded toward the Olympic movement but will not decline his spot at the Paris Games. Kendricks, who won his event at trials on Sunday, missed out on competing at the Tokyo Games because of a positive COVID-19 test.

“I love this sport. I love competing,” Kendricks said. “I love putting on Team USA. I’ve always loved that — I joined the freakin' Army because I love this country. I’m super excited about all that."

But he does not think the Olympics should be the be-all, end-all destination for athletes such as himself.

“I think it's is too far gone,” he said. "It’s not a good place to point our young people. It’s actually self-deprecating.”

Wing(er) and a prayer

Four-time Olympian Kara Winger is back.

Winger retired shortly after winning a silver medal at world championships in Eugene in 2022, but she recently decided to start throwing the javelin again.

She recorded a throw of 63.22 meters (207 feet, 5 inches) at a meet last month and says she believes she can reach 64 meters, which would give her the Olympic standard and probably the top-three finish she would need to make the team.

Her event starts next Friday.

“I’m not a ‘practice’ thrower,” she said. “If I don’t get it, it would probably be because of something mental.”

Sweet 16

Quincy Wilson will have a few stories to tell when he heads back to high school. Like the one about how he raced for a chance to go to the Olympics.

The 16-year-old who attends the Bullis School in Maryland earned a spot in the 400-meter final after his run of 44.59 seconds held up and was one of the best two marks among sprinters who didn’t finish in the top two over the three semifinals.

From Division III to Paris

Matthew Wilkinson is on the next step from Division III to the Olympics. Wilkinson, who was an eight-time All-American at Carleton College in Minnesota, finished second in the men’s steeplechase to earn a spot on the Olympic team.

“Am I dreaming?” he said in the postrace interview with NBC. “Someone wake me up, because this is unreal.”

He’ll be joined by the winner, Kenneth Rooks, and third-place finisher James Corrigan.

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This story has been corrected to show that Noah Lyles won his second, not first, national title in the 100.

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AP Sports Writer Pat Graham contributed to this report.

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AP Summer Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games