July 23, 2024

EUGENE, Ore. — The bright red running suit, the white pearls and the gold medal said it all.

Noah Lyles is the flashiest, and the fastest, sprinter in the United States — maybe even the world.

We’ll all get to find out later this summer in Paris thanks to a come-from-behind victory for Lyles in the 100 meters at U.S. track trials Sunday — a 9.83-second sprint that secured his spot at an Olympics where he has his sights set on electrifying his sport.

“This was basically the plan, and the plan is working right now,” Lyles said.

Video showed Lyles coming from the back half of the field to match his best time ever in the sprint that crowns the Fastest Man in the World.

He beat 200-meter specialist Kenny Bednarek by .04. Fred Kerley, the 2022 world champion, finished in third and will also go to Paris. Christian Coleman, the 2019 world champ, was in the lead with about 30 meters left but finished fourth.

The Lyles win makes the American sprint favorites 2 for 2 after three days of these trials. It comes a day after Sha’Carri Richardson also lived up to expectations and won the women’s 100 to earn her trip to Paris.

Both of these sprinters shine in their own way. Lyles is on a mission to lift up an entire sport that has been dimmer ever since Usain Bolt exited stage right after the Olympics in 2016.

In keeping with that theme, the 26-year-old Lyles showed up to Hayward Field in a neatly tailored sports coat and pants and was handed a briefcase containing his freshly pressed racing uniform. He wore white pearls for the race, and when he was introduced, he leaped and jumped about 30 yards down the track, imploring the crowd to get on its feet.

Snoop Dogg was in the house and has taken in some of the action with Lyles’ mother, who is almost as entertaining to watch as her son; up in the stands, she fell to her knees after Noah reeled in Kerley to his right, then Coleman and Bednarek to his left.

“Every step I took felt more powerful than the last,” Lyles said. “I was like ‘I got this race.’ I told myself I wasn’t going to ease up.”

But he did, lifting his index finger in the air just before the line and beating his chest after he crossed it.Noah Lyles won bronze in the 200, then talked about mental health - The  Washington Post

This marks the first national title in the 100 for Lyles, who has three 200-meter world titles but reimagined his goals after a disappointing third-place finish at the Tokyo Games in that race. Last summer, the world saw the work start to pay off.

Lyles won the world championship at 100, 200 and the 4×100 relay last year in Budapest. His 100 time on a cool, still night in Eugene matched the mark he ran to win worlds. If he can pull off the triple again, he would be in company with Bolt, the Jamaican great who went 3 for 3 all three times he raced at the Olympics.

“He’s the package,” Lyles’ coach Lance Brauman said. “That doesn’t mean that we don’t have to do some things to get better and keep going forward. But he enjoys that part of it. He loves to be at the track. He loves to be at training. I mean, he loves the race. It’s just who he is.”

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