September 30, 2019 / 6:54 PM / 17 days ago

Lyles confirms he is man to beat for 200 gold

Athletics - World Athletics Championships - Doha 2019 - Men's 200 Metres Semi Finals - Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar - September 30, 2019 Noah Lyles of the U.S. in action with China's Zhenye Xie and Ecuador's Alex Quinonez REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

DOHA (Reuters) - Noah Lyles clocked the top time in the 200 metres semi-finals on Monday, signalling the American is the man to beat for world championship gold.

The affable Lyles, switching back to his normal hair colour after sporting silver in the heats, was all business and in complete control right from the gun before easing across the line in a time 19.86 seconds.

Fourth on the world all-time list behind Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake and compatriot Michael Johnson, the silky smooth Lyles has had the look of that quality in Doha with Ecuador’s Alex Quinonez the only other runner to dip under 20 second by clocking 19.95.

Britain’s Adam Gemili also confirmed his medal ambitions by winning his heat in 20.03 ahead of Turkey’s defending champion Ramil Guliyev.

Canadian Andre De Grasse, bronze medallist in the 100m and silver medal winner behind Usain Bolt at the 2016 Rio Olympics, continued to show he is back in superb form after two years battling injury by coming home first in his heat in 20.08.

The men’s final is scheduled for Tuesday.

Editing by Ken Ferris

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