Not Usain Bolt, but Final Call for Noah Lyles to Walk Past Jamaican Legend in a Different Race

Published 09/11/2023, 11:13 AM EDT

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The race to the top is turning intense with each passing athletics championship. Olympian track star Noah Lyles set his foot just inches away from the legend of track and field. Earlier, Lyles shared his goal in the Worlds to surpass the Lightning Bolt‘s 200m sprint record. While he did get close to adding his name to the list of the trio with triple golds, the 200m lane continued to hold its legacy with another name in line.

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Once Lyles moved his way to the reigning World Championship status, shattering Bolt’s record only seemed to be fair anticipation. Now, the stories of each track distance in athletics are different, walked by seasoned sprinters, which makes Lyles just further away from the feat. Next to the fastest man of his era, Usain Bolt, sits a Jamaican athlete whose record Lyles is yet to surpass. 

Noah Lyles steps ahead of the World Athletic 200m historic feat

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The global stage was set for the star-studded sprinters to clench their titles, Lyles powered into the straightaway and onto a league of his own. At the world championships in Budapest, Lyles completed the sprinting double scoring 19.52 seconds in the 200m. However, the record was still far from Usain Bolt’s decade-old arch-rival, Yohan Blake. Blake beat Bolt after running the second-fastest 200m of all time in Brussels in September 2011. Presently, the hierarchy looks like Bolt with 19.19s, a record set on 20 August 2009 in Berlin, followed by Blake with 19.26s according to the World Athletics.

Notably, Blake surpassed Bolt twice on the track in a span of 48 hours along with beating Bolt in 200m to set his record. The following year, he also defeated him in the 100 and 200 meters at the Jamaican Olympic trials in Kingston. Now, Lyles pushed the American 200m record to 19.31 seconds, standing in the third position after Blake. Despite Lyles saying he could and would accomplish the goal this year, Bolt’s unfathomable 19.19-second world record stands unparalleled.

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However, the tally update of the triple worlds winner’s position remains a shock to everyone alongside being Lightning Bolt’s record shatterer. While the fastest all-time is still far, Lyles was focused on another of Bolt’s accomplishments. He became the first male sprinter to achieve both 100 and 200 wins at an international event since Usain Bolt at the 2016 Olympics, per sources. Presently, the athletes were propelled to the season’s seventh qualification meetings following the Wanda Diamond League in Xiamen. Surprisingly, the track dominator Lyles stood behind fellow Americans in the worlds tally.

Noah Lyles 200m challenger in World Championships

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The 200-meter medal rankings received a lot of interest after the qualification events ended on September 2. With 23 points, Erriyon Knighton, the first-ever bronze medalist at the 2022 Worlds, was placed first on the Diamond League website. Noah Lyles, the reigning 200-meter champion, finished fourth after scoring a total of 16 points throughout two competitions. Out of the six sprinting events that have taken place so far, Erriyon, who is currently leading the 200m rankings, participated in three of them, while Lyles ran in the final two.

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Knighton earlier broke one of Usain Bolt’s 200-meter records for men in the Oslo Diamond League, making Diamond League history. After Knighton, Lyles broke Lightning Bolt’s record for the most times running a 200-meter race in under 20 seconds in the fifth international competition. He won the feat for the 35th time in 19.47 seconds, moving up to third place among all distance runners in history.

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Lyles put a stop to Knighton’s pursuit in the 200m race in Zürich by defeating his teammate and three-time world champion Erriyon Knighton with a time of 19.80s. Finally, the crowning will take place in Eugene, returning the athletic nomads to their home ground.

Watch This Story: As Retirement Nears, Track Legend Allyson Felix Hints at a Fresh Career Path

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Written by:

Divya Purohit

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Divya Purohit is a sports writer at EssentiallySports specializing her coverage in American sporting events. She recently found US Sports writing to be a niche that she enjoys and began following sports. Divya enjoys researching and creating various pieces of articles.
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Edited by:

Tiyasa Biswas

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