BUDAPEST: Noah Lyles says he hopes his victory in the 100m at the athletics World Championships will be the “start of a dynasty” as he bids to become the first man to achieve a world sprint double since Usain Bolt in 2015.
Lyles, who already has two world 200m titles and will go for a third in Budapest, clocked 9.83s – equalling the fastest 100m time of the season – for victory yesterday.
In a perfectly-timed piece of sprinting, the 26-year-old kept his nerve after a quick start by teammate Christian Coleman to outstrip a field deprived of defending champion Fred Kerley and Olympic gold medallist Marcell Jacobs after both failed to make the final.
“The goal was to make sure I was the first to 60m, then do Noah Lyles things, use my topping speed,” Lyles said of his race strategy.
“When I got there I believed I was the fastest guy and I kept believing that until I crossed the line.”
The American has made his name over 200m rather than the shorter sprint, but vowed that that would now be altered.
“Last year made this the right year” to target the 100m, he said.
“After having such a strong hold on the 200m it really freaked me out to be, like, okay no matter where I am in the season I can go back to the 200m and it will be fast.
“Now it’s only a matter of time of continuously working on the 100m, the worst part of my race and getting it faster.
“It’s now about running faster 100s to make the first 100m of the 200m a faster time.
“The craziest thing is that we’ve got so much more to improve on and that’s a scary thought.”
‘A long journey’
Lyles admitted that his experience with the 100m had been “a long journey”.
“That’s the first time I’ve set a personal best since 2019,” he said.
“I always remember that race and how I felt, believing in myself so much I thought I was crazy that day, believing in myself so much that someone might have thought I was crazy, might have put me in an insane asylum!”
Lyles, who is being filmed for an NBC Sports documentary by an Emmy-winning producer and will also feature heavily in a Netflix series on the 100m currently in production, added: “I’ve so much more to give to this event, but I’ve been giving a lot of it to the 200m.
“As people look back at this year, they’re going to be like this is the year Noah won the 100, 200 and 4×100 and that is the start of a dynasty.”
Lyles’ attention now turns to the 200m as he bids to become only the fifth man to achieve the 100/200m double at the World Championships.
Now-retired Jamaican superstar Bolt completed the sprint double three times at these championships, in 2009, 2013 and 2015.
With a best time of 19.31s in the 200m, Lyles is the third fastest man in history though still some way off Bolt’s world record of 19.19s set in 2009.
“To be honest, I am not worried,” Lyles said of potentially stiff competition in the 200m, notably from the silver and bronze medallists in the 100m, Letsile Tebogo of Botswana and Britain’s Zharnel Hughes respectively.
“I know Letsile and Zharnel are going to give their 100, and best believe that I’m going to give my 100!” Lyles said.