BUDAPEST, Aug 20 – Noah Lyles is the new fastest man in the world.
Throughout the week leading up to the World Athletics Championships, Noah Lyles had been exuding confidence about his chances in the 100 meters event. While primarily known for his prowess in the 200 meters, the American sprinter backed up his talk with an exceptional performance when it mattered most on Sunday, clinching the gold medal with a remarkable personal best time of 9.83 seconds.
The race concluded with a thrillingly close finish, as Letsile Tebogo of Botswana secured the silver medal by a mere one thousandth of a second ahead of Britain’s Zharnel Hughes, who took home the bronze. Jamaica’s Oblique Seville, who finished in fourth place, was only three thousandths of a second away from claiming a podium spot. All three runners clocked a time of 9.88 seconds.
Christian Coleman, a former champion, showcased an impressive start in the race, but was ultimately overtaken and finished fifth with a time of 9.92 seconds.
First African Athlete to Win a World Championship
Tebogo, at the young age of 20, became the first African athlete to win a world championship medal in the 100 meters event. On the other hand, Hughes, who had entered the championships as the fastest 100 meters runner in the world with a time of 9.83, ended Britain’s two-decade-long absence from the men’s 100 meters podium. The last British athlete to achieve this feat was Darren Campbell, who secured a bronze medal 20 years ago.
The United States continued to assert its dominance in sprinting, with Lyles’ victory marking the fourth consecutive world title for the nation. This winning streak followed a four-title streak by Jamaica.
The final had been anticipated as a highly competitive race, and at the 50-meter mark, a majority of the participants were neck-and-neck in a tightly packed formation. In the crucial last 30 meters, Lyles managed to surge ahead and claim the lead, cementing his victory. Despite his anticipation of running a time of 9.65 seconds, Lyles’ personal best of 9.83 proved more than sufficient for the gold.
Noah Lyles Had a Strategy
Lyles shared his strategy, stating, “I focused on accelerating, and by the time I reached the 60-meter mark, I had taken the lead.” Reflecting on his journey, he remarked, “I’ve faced setbacks and losses, even in the 100 meters. I earned a bronze medal at the U.S. trials during the challenges posed by COVID-19. However, many doubted my capabilities at that point.”
He continued, “But I knew what I had set out to achieve. My goal was three gold medals, and I’ve now ticked off one. The others are on the way. The 100 meters was the most challenging, and I can now enjoy competing in my beloved event.”
Having already secured two world titles in the 200 meters, Noah Lyles is now poised to pursue the sprint double, a feat last accomplished by Usain Bolt in 2015. Additionally, he aspires to conclude his championship journey with a victory in the sprint relay.
Hughes, who had faced disqualification due to a false start in the Tokyo Olympics final, expressed his elation at securing a medal. This achievement crowned a season in which he broke both the British 100 meters and 200 meters records, records that had stood for three decades. “I’m feeling extremely grateful at this moment,” he shared. “While my aim was the gold, I’m content to depart with a medal.”
Hughes further revealed, “The semi-finals’ false start caused me to remain cautious in my starting blocks. I believed I could outpace Lyles. However, upon seeing the results and Tebogo’s name, I was left wondering where he had come from.”
Fred Kerley, the defending 100 meters world champion from the U.S., faced disappointment as he failed to qualify for the final, clocking a time of 10.02 seconds in the semi-finals.