Bednarek wins silver medal in 200-meter dash at World Athletics Championships
Bednarek finished in 19.77 seconds, holding off American teammate Erriyon Knighton by 0.03 seconds to earn silver.
For the second time in the space of a year, Kenny Bednarek is heading home with a silver medal.
Eleven months after capturing a silver at the Tokyo Olympics, the Rice Lake alumnus earned another by taking second in the men's 200-meter final at the World Athletics Championships on Thursday, July 21, in Eugene, Oregon. Canada's Andre De Grasse ran a personal best to beat Bednarek in Tokyo, and American Noah Lyles replicated the feat to win at Hayward Field.
Lyles, the defending world champion, won the gold medal in 19.31 seconds, blowing away the rest of the field. Bednarek finished in 19.77 seconds, holding off American teammate Erriyon Knighton by 0.03 seconds to earn silver. It was a season best for Bednarek, a milestone after an injury suffered last winter.
"To be able to make it to the podium, I'm happy with that," Bednarek told reporters after the race. "I didn't really know what to expect this year after I broke my toe, but I worked my butt off to get back in shape and heal my toe. It's not even fully healed yet, but a lot of hard work, a long season, and I'm not finished, but to be able to make the podium, I'm very happy with my performance and the hard work I put out this year."
Lyles pulled away over the final 75 meters, leaving no doubt about who would cross the line first. But Bednarek fended off Knighton, who closed the gap on his left shoulder but never surpassed the former Rice Lake star. He still managed to take third to complete a podium sweep for the United States.
"I'm glad we did (the sweep), because I felt like last year we should have done it," Bednarek told the media. "We all came back stronger than ever and made it happen this year."
At 23 years of age, Bednarek's professional trophy haul now includes two silver medals and a Diamond League championship in the 200.
This was Bednarek's second time competing at the World Athletics Championships. He made the United States team in 2019, but was eliminated in the 200-meter prelims as a nerve flare-up slowed him down.
There were no such issues three years later. He saved his fastest run of the year for the biggest race of the season.
But nobody could beat Lyles, who set a new American record with his time. His 19.31-second run was the third-fastest in history.
"He ran a hell of a turn and I didn't, so congrats to him," Bednarek said.
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