American Noah Lyles, the 2019 world champion in the men's 200m and owner of the fastest time in the world in 2021, easily advanced to Wednesday's semifinals.
Lyles won the final preliminary heat in a session-best 20.17, taking control of the race out of the turn and conserving energy through the final 30 meters. The top three finishers from each heat advanced, along with the next three fastest times.
Lyles joins American teammates Kenneth Bednarek and 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton in the semifinal round as all three won their respective heats. They enter as the three fastest men competing in Tokyo and have a chance to become the first American men to sweep the 200m podium since Carl Lewis, Kirk Baptiste and Thomas Jefferson did so at the Mexico City 1984 Olympics.
Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir accomplished the feat for Jamaica at London 2012.
Lyles is the favorite to become the first 200m Olympic gold medalist in the post-Bolt era.