Tokyo previews – Men’s 200m

Though the US lead the charge, plenty more have hopes of a medal in an event where several could claim gold. Will it be the crowning of Noah Lyles, the emergence of a high school superstar onto the world stage or maybe someone completely different? It will be interesting that’s for sure. Here’s our men’s 200m preview.


Tuesday 3 August 03:05 UK Time (Round 1) Tuesday 3 August 12:50 UK Time (Semifinals) Wednesday 4 August 13:55 UK Time (Final)

2021 fastest 200m times

2021 RankingTime AthleteCountry
119.74Noah LylesUSA
219.78Kenneth BednarekUSA
319.81Terrance LairdUSA
419.84Erriyon KnightonUSA
519.88Divine OduduruNigeria
619.89André De GrasseCanada
719.9Fred KerleyUSA
819.91Joseph FahnbullehLiberia
919.99Isiah YoungUSA
1020.02Andrew HudsonUSA

British interest

Adam Gemili and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake make up the British representation. Gemili was fourth in both Rio and at the Doha World Champs. He has yet to show that form this year, running 20.41 as his best, but has a knack of peaking for the big occassion. Mitchell-Blake has struggled so far in 2021 but is a 19.95 performer at his best. He was fourth in the London World Champs in 2017 but doesn’t look to be in that kind of form. His best in 2021 is 20.76.

The half lap favourites

Noah Lyles seems to have found his form at the most opportune of times. He last lost a 200m final in 2019 and is the reigning world champ. If he continues his progression he may do something special in Tokyo.

He will be challenged by teammate Kenny Bednarek who looked the man to beat on early season form. Bednarek has since finished second to Lyles in the US trials and to De Grasse in Székesfehérvár. He will be in contention for gold come Tokyo.

The final US entrant is Erriyon Knighton, born in 2004. He is just seventeen and broke the World U20 Best in winning bronze at the US trials. His third place in Székesfehérvár shows that was no fluke. Could he be athletics next big thing or, like Usain Bolt in 2004, will this prove one Games too early?

Andre De Grasse is my pick to really prove a threat to the USA trio, five years after he won Olympic silver in Rio. After a few difficult years he looks back to his best and could upgrade his Doha World Champs silver. He has already picked up 100m bronze.

Divine Oduduro of Nigeria is an outside shot and has run consistently in 2021, as has Joseph Fahnbulleh, the NCAA Champ. Fahnbulleh will be gunning for Liberia’s first Olympic medal and has dipped under 20 seconds twice this year.

Our medal predictions

  1. Noah Lyles
  2. Andre De Grasse
  3. Kenneth Bednarek


WR: 19.19 Usain Bolt (2009)

OR: 19.30 Usain Bolt (2008 Bejiing)

Enjoy our men’s 200m preview. Check out the rest of the athletics below.

Featured image “Andre De Grasse making his mark (on the Pan Am Games)” by PJMixer is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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