Kenny Bednarek wins Doha 200m in personal best as Olympic Trials showdown nears

Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Kenny Bednarek consolidated his status as a favorite to make the Paris Olympic team by winning the 200m in a personal-best time at a Diamond League meet in Doha on Friday.

Bednarek prevailed in 19.67 seconds, shaving one hundredth off his personal best from the Tokyo Olympic final. He said Friday's performance was a birthday gift to his mom.

Bednarek, 25, beat a Doha field that included countryman Courtney Lindsey, who went into the race as the world's fastest man in 2024 in the 200m with a time of 19.71 from April 20.

The U.S. also boasts the reigning world gold and silver medalists in the 200m — Noah Lyles and Erriyon Knighton. Lyles, Bednarek and Knighton made it an American sweep of the 200m medals at the 2022 World Championships.


The top three in the Olympic Trials 200m final on June 29 in Eugene, Oregon, will make the team for Paris.

Bednarek ran Friday with a white headband adorned by the words "Fear None." He is nicknamed "Kung Fu Kenny."

"We all have the same gear and everyone kind of looks the same on the track, so I wanted to think of a way to stand out [with a headband]," he said in 2022. "I liked the ring to 'Kung Fu Kenny' and the values that it has with it -- discipline, dedication, respect and humbleness. I want to instill those values in my daily life and professional life. I don’t want to just be another sprinter. I want to have a brand and persona so people know exactly who I am every time I step out there."

The track and field season continues next weekend with the Los Angeles Grand Prix on May 18 at 3 p.m. ET (live on NBC,, the NBC Sports app and Peacock) and a Diamond League meet in Rabat, Morocco, on May 19 at 2 p.m. ET (live on Peacock).

Kenny Bednarek
Kenny Bednarek

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