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Noah Lyles and Jah-Nhai Perinchief thrill fans at USATF Bermuda Grand Prix

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Noah Lyles wins the 100 metres at the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix at Flora Duffy Stadium (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

American sprint star Noah Lyles brought the house down on the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix yesterday with an easy win in the 100 metres.

Running his second individual outdoor race of a crucial Olympic season, the 26-year-old clocked a wind assisted 9.96 seconds in chilly conditions at Flora Duffy Stadium to beat Canadian Aaron Brown and American Pjai Austin.

Lyles, whose time of 9.80 last year was good enough only to earn him second place behind his compatriot Christian Coleman, was keen to emphasise that the track meet’s new date may have led to a slower time.

“The plan today was to hammer the first 60 metres and keep driving it home,’’ Lyles said.

“I would say I definitely did a good job of hammering the first 60. Everything else, I wasn't expecting how strong that wind would be.

“It was pushing me along and I don’t think my legs were keeping up. It’s good to have the speed there but I would like a race where I don’t have as much wind.

“It’s that time of the year where I’m just coming off just a really hard training cycle, like five really hard back-to-back weeks, and finally getting my legs tight and sore.

“That’s just because we slow down training to get into race mode, which we’ll be doing for the rest of the season.

“I would say that’s probably the best reason for not having the time. All in all, I feel the set-up of the race was very much what I wanted and from here we can keep taking it further on the last 40 metres.”

Jah-Nhai Perinchief finished second in the men’s triple jump at the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix at Flora Duffy Stadium (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

It was a first win at the third attempt over 100 metres at this meet for the swanky American sprinter, who is famous for his grand entrance into the stadium.

“Once you get the crowd going, they’re really lively,’’ Lyles said.

“But I could tell they were probably a little cold from the wind today, and the sun behind the stadium as well.”

Local favourite Jah-Nhai Perinchief jumped to a superb second place in his first major meet since last year’s World Championships in Budapest.

The Bermudian, with the home crowd urging him on, recorded a wind assisted 17.13 in his fourth jump behind Jamaica’s rising star, Jaydon Hibbert, who has already qualified for the Paris Olympics. The Jamaican’s best leap, also aided by the wind, was 17.33.

It was a huge improvement for Perinchief, who finished eighth at last year’s Bermuda Grand Prix.

“Over the last couple of years I’ve been fighting an injury, so it’s good to be able to jump healthy and almost go to a full series from a short approach and I’m happy with that,” Perinchief said.

“This is my first meet so the coach will probably keep the training tailored to working on stuff other than just letting us go all out.

Dage Minros finished fifth in the men’s 1,500 metres at the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix at Flora Duffy Stadium (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

“I was still able to execute pretty good and I still have a lot of stuff I could work on. It means I've big improvements I can make.

“My main goal coming into this was to do what I do and show everybody that Bermuda can compete with the world. Next up for me is the Jamaica Invitational on May 10 and 11.

“The support from the crowd was great, they were fully involved, not just with me but with everybody. That’s why everybody loves coming to compete here as the crowd is fully involved, and fully invested, so it’s great.”

Abby Steiner, right, won the women’s 200m at the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix at Flora Duffy Stadium (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

On his return to the Bermuda Grand Prix after missing last year’s edition through injury, Dage Minors finished fifth in the 1,500 metres in 3:55.41. In 2022, Minors was third in the race, with a time of 3:46.82, his season’s best on that occasion.

Minors stayed with the leading pack coming into the home straight for the final time but could not keep pace with Canada’s Robert Heppenstall, who won in a time of 3:53.07.

Away from Lyles and the home favourites, there were some dominant displays from Abby Steiner, Kirani James and Tamari Davis.

Steiner marked her return from injury with a comfortable win in the women’s 200m as she crossed the line in 22.71.

Grenada’s James, who is gunning for a fourth Olympic medal after winning gold in London, silver in Rio de Janeiro and bronze in Tokyo, took the men’s 400m in 46.00, while Davis cruised to victory in the women’s 100m, clocking 11.04.

Kirani James, middle, won the men’s 400m at the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix at Flora Duffy Stadium (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published April 28, 2024 at 10:36 pm (Updated April 30, 2024 at 8:08 am)

Noah Lyles and Jah-Nhai Perinchief thrill fans at USATF Bermuda Grand Prix

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