© Copyright – 2022 – Athletics Illustrated
Noah Lyles broke a 26-year-old record held that was held by the legendary sprinter Michael Johnson en route to a stunning win in the 200-metre final to claim victory for the US at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene.
Lyles clocked a national record time of 19.31 seconds to win the event late Thursday at Hayward Field. The time improved Johnson’s record of 19.32, which was a then-world record from the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. That world record is now 19.19 seconds and is held by Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, who also holds the world 100m record at 9.58 seconds.
Lyles stared at the clock after he crossed the finish line, as his time was first listed at 19.32 and was tied with Johnson. He then turned his back just before officials changed his time to 19.31.
I’m framing this One!— Noah Lyles, OLY (@LylesNoah) July 22, 2022
2 fastest Americans ever! pic.twitter.com/sK8dNTz3ov
“I knew it was coming,” Lyles told reporters. “I have just been waiting for it for a few months now and finally got my start down to where I wanted it to. I knew it was going to be today.”
It was a sweep, as countrymen Kenneth Bednarek and Erriyon Knighton took silver and bronze medals in that race, respectively. Bednarek recorded a season-best 19.77, Knighton went 19.80.
Earlier in the day, Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson set a national and championship record with a time of 21.45 in the women’s 200m. She edged fellow Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s season-best 21.81. England’s Dina Asher-Smith claimed bronze.
Dina Asher-Smith claimed her sixth career World Athletics Championships medal in that hotly-contested final.
Asher-Smith, who finished fourth in the 100m five days ago, ran a superb race from lane three to banish that pain — a medal always looking like the end result for the Brit after a strong start out of the blocks at Hayward Field.
Her time of 22.02 seconds was her second quickest of the year, just behind her 21.96 effort in the semi-finals, with bronze taking her individual career medal tally from World Championships to three and overall to six, also pushing the British team’s total in Oregon to three.
Asher-Smith stormed out of the blocks and was positioned extremely well coming out of the bend. It was clear from there that it would be a three-way battle with the Brit alongside the Jamaican pair of Shericka Jackson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
Jackson would take gold in a Championship record 21.45 with newly-crowned 100m champion Fraser-Pryce second in a season’s best 21.81 before defending champion Asher-Smith came in third with 22.02, a tenth clear of fourth.
“I am so happy. The calibre of that final was insane,” said Asher-Smith, whose World Championship medal tally now reads one gold, three silver and two bronze. “All those women are capable of running sub-22 and I don’t think we’ve ever been in a world final with that kind of talent.
“For me I knew that I just had to run as fast as my legs were going to carry me and really pray and hope that it was enough to get on the podium. I am so happy to have got it. I thought I got it, but I was like ‘let me just see it in writing’, there is nothing more embarrassing than celebrating without seeing it in writing.”