World 200m champion Noah Lyles won over that distance in the US world trials at Hayward Field in 19.61sec ©Getty Images

The 200 metres provided huge drama on the last day of the USA Track and Field (USATF) Outdoor Championships and world trials at Hayward Field in Eugene as Noah Lyles and Abby Steiner won gold in super-fast times but Sha’Carri Richardson and Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Gabby Thomas failed to qualify.

Lyles, who won Olympic bronze last summer, will return to the same track to defend his world title next month with growing confidence after clocking 19.67 seconds to defeat the prodigiously talented 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton, who was second in 19.69, and Tokyo 2020 Olympic 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley, third in 19.83.

Knighton heads this year’s world lists with 19.49, putting him fourth on the all-time list, with Lyles second on 19.61.

As he crossed the line, Lyles pointed at his younger rival, a gesture he explained afterwards was directed not at Knighton himself, but at others.

“There’s a few too many people out there who think that I’m going to lose because somebody else is running fast," he explained.

Such was the quality of the race that the Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Kenny Bednarek found himself in fourth place despite his season’s best of 19.87.

Having run 19.95 in his first round and 19.81 in his semi-final, Lyles was well prepared for his final effort.

Christian Coleman, who is set to defend his world 100m title next month, surrendered any chance of doubling up at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 in not starting his 200m semi-final.

In the women’s 200m, Steiner, the National Collegiate Athletic Association champion, lowered her own 2022 world-leading mark of 21.80 - which she had equalled in the semi-finals - in winning the final in 21.77.

Richardson, sixth fastest of all time over 100m with a best of 10.72, had failed to qualify from her opening heat at that distance and she suffered the same fate in the longer sprint as she could only finish fifth in her semi-final in 22.47.

The flamboyant sprinter, who models part of her competitive look on the late world 100m record holder Florence Griffith-Joyner, won the 100m title at last year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic trials in Eugene but missed the Games following a three-month suspension imposed after she tested positive for cannabis in a test taken at the trials.

Thomas, who had taken the final qualifying place one spot ahead of Richardson in the semi-finals, was eighth and last in the final in 22.47 and explained afterwards how her ambitions had been cut down by suffering a hamstring tear in training two weeks before the trials.

Meanwhile, at the Jamaican world trials in Kingston, Shericka Jackson ran the third fastest 200 metres of all time, in 21.55 seconds to complete a sprint double.

.The 27-year-old Tokyo 2020 100m bronze medallist, who won the100m title on Friday, finished ahead of the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 100 and 200m champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who finished second in 22.05, and Beijing 2008 and London 2012 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, current world 200m champion, who was third in 22.14.

Only the late Florence Griffith Joyner, who set her world record of 21.34 seconds in 1988, and Thompson-Herah, who clocked 21.53 to complete the sprint double at last year's Tokyo Olympics, have run faster.

Asked whether she had expected to clock such a fast time, Jackson told Reuters: "Honestly no! I did not expect to go this fast."

With Grant Holloway, who has a wild card to defend his world 110m hurdles title next month, not electing to run in the final, there was an unexpected defeat for Devon Allen, who beat him earlier this month and clocked 12.84 the third fastest time ever.

Daniel Roberts won the final in 13.03 from Trey Cunningham, who clocked 13.08, but Allen - who will take up a three-year contract with National Football League team Philadelphia Eagles later this year - secured the third qualifying spot in 13.09.

Tokyo 2020 women’s 800m champion Athing Mu, 20, won a close race in 1min 57.16sec from world indoor champion Ajee Wilson, on 1:57.23, and Raevyn Rogers, third in 1:57.96.

Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Rai Benjamin won the men’s 400m hurdles in 47.04, the fastest time run so far this year.

With Donavan Brazier, who competed in the first round of the men’s 800m, content to rely upon his wild card as defending champion, the title went to Bryce Hoppel in a season’s best of 1:44.60, but Rio 2016 bronze medallist Clayton Murphy missed the top three qualifying positions by one place.

Chase Ealey produced the best women’s shot put seen so far this year as she set a meeting record of 20.51 metres.

Double Olympic and four times world champion Christian Taylor, feeling his way back into top class competition this year after the serious achilles tendon injury he suffered shortly before Tokyo 2020, finished fifth on 16.54 but has a wild card entry to defend his title.

The Doha 2019 silver medallist Will Claye earned second place on 16.93m behind Donald Scott, who had a season’s best of 17.07m.

Emma Coburn, who won the women’s 3,000m steeplechase title at the London 2017 World Championships and took silver two years later in Doha, won the trials in a season’s best of 9:10.63, with Courtney Frerichs, the London 2017 and Tokyo 2020 silver medallist, third in 9:16.18.

Paul Chelimo, the Rio 2016 silver medallist and Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist in the men’s 5,000m failed to qualify as he finished 11th in a race won by Grant Fisher in a meeting record of 13:03.86.

Emily Infeld, women’s 5,000m bronze medallist at the 2015 Beijing World Championships, earned the third qualifying place in 15:49.42 in a final won by Elise Cranny in 15:49.15.

Shelby McEwen won the men’s high jump with 2.33m from JuVaughan Harrison, who cleared 2.30m.