I’m Very Excited to Watch USA Track & Field at the Paris Olympics

I'm ready to watch Jasmine Moore win the triple jump, Sha'Carri Richardson break the 100m record, and Noah Lyles break Usain Bolt's 200m record.

Entertainment
I’m Very Excited to Watch USA Track & Field at the Paris Olympics
From left, Jasmine Moore, Sha’Carri Richardson, and Noah Lyles. Photos: Getty Images

The Paris Olympics are a month away and while I know we’re all excited about gymnastics, swimming, and artistic swimming, I am most excited to watch the USA Track & Field team—a sport that I don’t think gets half the attention and recognition it should.

For starters, Sha’Carri Richardson won the 100-meter sprint on Sunday during the U.S. Track & Field trials (which began on June 21 in Eugene, Oregon) and is officially heading to Paris. “I feel honored,” Richardson said after winning with a 10.71-second sprint. “I feel every chapter I’ve been through in my life prepared me for this moment.” Huge! I’m psyched to watch her finally make her Olympics debut. But, I am possibly even more psyched to watch sprinter Noah Lyles, and one slightly lesser-known athlete, triple jumper Jasmine Moore, make their Olympics return.

I was captain of my high school track team (flex, I know) where my main event was the triple jump. Sometimes, during a beach day with friends—and after I’ve had between two and five White Claws— I’ll demonstrate the specifics of this gorgeous field event. (I have no idea if my friends enjoy this.) Unfortunately, since this is a website and not the beach, you’ll have to be satisfied with a simple, written explanation. The triple jump begins on a runway nearly identical to the long jump runway, except once you hit your desired white line, you perform a hop, then a giant skip, and then a huge leap into a sand pit. It’s like a rock doing jetés across a pond.

No hate to the high jump or long jump but the triple jump, in my opinion, is a more elegant display of athleticism with a much more satisfying rhythm. And speaking of elegance and rhythm! Moore, the 23-year-old seven-time NCAA Division 1 triple jump champion, literally made me gasp with her event-winning jump on Sunday.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Team USA (@teamusa)

Moore attended the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and placed 23rd overall with a 45′.2″ jump. Her jump on Sunday, which also got her her first U.S. championship medal, was 46’9.5″. Yulimar Rojas, of Venezuela, was the 2020 Olympic gold medalist and is the current world record holder (she broke her own record in March 2022 with a 51’7.5″ jump) but she hurt her Achilles and won’t be competing in Paris. So all my bets are on Moore!!!!

Then we have Lyles, who’s already been heralded as the next Usain Bolt, due to both his speed and style. The 26-year-old recently told Jimmy Fallon that, when he was younger, he was surrounded by so many Olympians that he thought “becoming an Olympian was like getting your driver’s license.” Which, sure. It’s definitely not the worst type of confidence to instill in a kid.

Lyles won the 100m on Sunday and will compete to qualify for the 200m next weekend. He says he wants to break Bolt’s 200m meter record and also be the first track star to bring home four Olympic gold medals. (He could do this by winning the 100m and 200m as well as the 4x100m and 4x400m relay events.)

Bolt’s current world record for the 200m is 19.19 seconds, which he set at the 2009 World Championship in Berlin, Germany. Lyles ran a 19.31 in 2022 at the World Championship in Eugene, Oregon, breaking Michael Johnson’s 26-year-old U.S. record by one second. “I know that I’m going to break it,” Lyles told USA Today Sports of Bolt’s 200m record in 2023. Meanwhile, Bolt’s 100m record is 9.58 while Lyles’ 100m best is 9.83.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Noah Lyles (@nojo18)

To learn a little more about Lyles, I texted my dad, who competed in the decathlon at Boston College and has been a high school and college track & field coach for the last 20 years. “I like him, he strongly believes in himself, doesn’t talk senseless trash talk but thoroughly lays out his plans on how he will win,” he responded. “He is also very entertaining and does excite the crowds. He is a very fast sprinter, great starter, and extremely strong finisher.” My dad also sent me a list of all his records and achievements which I don’t feel the need to copy and paste here but, in summation, he is very good, and people like him!

The U.S. track trials go through June 30; the Olympic track & field schedule starts on August 2 with the women’s 100m (along with about 10 other events). Until then, let me know if you have any track & field questions you want me to text my dad.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin