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Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, Rai Benjamin win in fast times at USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone won the 200m at the USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix in a personal-best 22.07 seconds, the world's second-fastest time this year in an event she rarely runs and does not plan to race at next month's Olympic Trials.

McLaughlin-Levrone, the Olympic champion and world record holder in the 400m hurdles, prevailed by 25 hundredths over fellow American Abby Steiner on Saturday.

Gabby Thomas, the Olympic bronze medalist and world silver medalist, was sixth in 22.68 after running a 100m a little more than 90 minutes earlier.

Only American McKenzie Long has run faster in 2024 than McLaughlin-Levrone -- 22.03 from last Saturday.

LA GRAND PRIX: Full Results

At last August's world championships, Jamaican Shericka Jackson won in 21.41, followed by Thomas in 21.81 and American Sha'Carri Richardson in 21.92. Jackson has yet to race a 200m in 2024 and is scheduled to do so Sunday.

Before this year, McLaughlin-Levrone had not run a 200m since 2018.

Last year, she ran the flat 400m rather than the hurdles and posted the world's fastest time in that event for the season. But she missed August's world championships due to a small PCL tear in her left knee that led to patella issues and tendonitis.

She plans to race solely the 400m hurdles at Olympic Trials from June 21-30 in Eugene, Oregon, choosing not to attempt a rare flat 400m-400m hurdles double.

"That's definitely a possibility in the future, but just wanting to come back, after last season, just stick to one event and try to do it the best I can, be healthy, which we are, and I'm very happy about," she told media after Saturday's race.

At trials, the top three in most events make the team for the Paris Games.

Also Saturday, American Rai Benjamin won the men's 400m hurdles in 46.64 seconds, the ninth-fastest time in history and the fastest time ever run this early in a year.
"I'm not trying to think too much on it, to be honest, because the Olympics aren't today," Benjamin said.

Norwegian Karsten Warholm, Benjamin and Brazilian Alison dos Santos, who went gold-silver-bronze in Tokyo, combine to own the 12 fastest times in history and appear headed for another showdown in Paris.

American Michael Norman won the 400m in 44.53 seconds, prevailing by 32 hundredths over 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kirani James of Grenada.

Norman, the 2022 World champion, switched to the 100m last year and didn't make the 2023 World Championships team in the event after dealing with what he called "setback after setback," including tendonitis.

He also changed coaches from Quincy Watts to John Smith in 2023, then moved back to Watts after last season.

"It's just not worth the risk to jump down in those shorter events, especially in a year like this, just because if you don't execute and you don't perform the way you want to or the way people expected, things don't look good," Norman said Saturday. "It's safer and less of a risk for me to be competing in the 400m, which I still enjoy just as much."

He ranks third in the world by best 400m time in 2024 (44.21) despite dealing with physical issues earlier in the year.

"I haven't really sprinted since January," he said.

Norman was the world's fastest 400m sprinter in the previous Olympic cycle and finished fifth at the Tokyo Olympics.

"This year is the year for redemption for myself," he said. "Not because I didn't run last year; I fell short in Tokyo."

American Kyree King took the men's 100m in 10.11 seconds, edging world silver medalist Letsile Tebogo of Botswana by two hundredths.

Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico false started out of the 100m hurdles, was later allowed to run unofficially and finished fourth in a race won by Tonea Marshall in 12.55.

Marshall, who was sixth at last year's USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, is the world's second-fastest woman so far in 2024 with a best time of 12.42.

On Friday in LA, Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Valarie Allman won her fifth consecutive discus competition to start the year. She threw 67.93 meters, distancing Cuban Yaime Pérez by 2.98 meters. American Laulauga Tausaga, the reigning world champion, was fourth with a 60.83-meter throw.

Brooke Andersen won a women's hammer throw that included the last three world champions. Andersen, the 2022 World champion, threw 77.32 meters to edge fellow American and 2019 World champion DeAnna Price by 16 centimeters. Canadian Camryn Rogers, the 2023 World champion, was third with a 75.56-meter throw.

Selemon Barega, the Tokyo Olympic 10,000m champion from Ethiopia, won a 5000m in 12:51.60. Tokyo Olympic 5000m gold medalist Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda was third (12:52.38). American record holder Grant Fisher was fifth in 12:53.30.

The track and field season continues Sunday with a Diamond League meet in Morocco, live from 2-4 p.m. ET on CNBC, NBCSports.com. the NBC Sports app and Peacock.