Who is Kenny Bednarek? The Wisconsin native who scored silver in Olympic upset

August 12, 2021

Andre de Grasse (left) and Kyle Bednarek (right) during their victory lap at the 200m final in Tokyo.

American Noah Lyles was a favorite to win gold in the highly-competitive men’s 200m final Wednesday, August 4, 2021, but it was Canadian Andre de Grasse and Wisconsin’s Kenny Bednarek who finished first in the Tokyo Olympics event.

De Grasse won his fifth Olympic medal and his first gold in the race, followed by Bednarek claiming silver and Lyles taking bronze.

Bednarek set a new personal best of 19.68 seconds with his finish.

Lyles entered the race as the gold medal favorite before coming away with bronze as his first Olympic medal. It was a three-man battle between de Grasse, Bednarek and Lyles until the Canadian edged ahead in the final meters.

Bednarek was always a medal contender in the race, but his finish ahead of Lyles marked a surprising end to the highly anticipated race.

From Rice Lake, Wisconsin, Bednarek became only the second man in history and the first American athlete to break 20 seconds in the 200-meter and 45 seconds in the 400-meter on the same day at the 2019 NJCAA Championships.

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