Noah Lyles broke Michael Johnson’s American record, leading the sweep of the men’s
200m medals at the world track and field championships. Lyles, 25, crossed the finished
line in the men’s 200m Thursday night in 19.31 seconds. Not only did he beat his
previous personal best of 19.50, but he shattered the American record by one
hundredth of a second.
Lyles beat the record previously held by Michael Johnson (19.32)– which was set at the
1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, and Johnson was on hand to witness Lyles victory.
Celebrating, Lyles was greeted on the track by Johnson. It was the first time the men
had met in person.
According to reporters, the clock initially showed a tie at 19.32 before the official time
confirmed the new record.
“I didn’t want to see ’32,’ I didn’t want to share a record,” Lyles said, per Eddie Pells of
the Associated Press. “Nobody wants to share a record. I think even Michael Johnson
doesn’t want to share a record. So I was just begging it to change.”
Johnson added: “He just said he had a great race. He said he worked harder than he
ever did. I thought he ran a great curve. And so, it was fantastic.”
The reigning Olympic silver medalist, Kenny Bednarek, came in second in 19.77, with
18-year-old Erriyon Knighton coming in third with 19.80.
Team USA has won 22 out of the 87 medals handed out at the event so far. No other
country has more than eight.
Lyles won his first Olympic medal last summer when he secured bronze in the 200
meters with a time of 19.74 seconds.
This year’s World Athletics Championships are scheduled to wrap up Sunday.