Noah Lyles breaks Michael Johnson’s record in the United States. The United States sweeps the world by 200 m

for Noah Lyles, this season wasn’t just about improving his bronze medal from the Olympics. It wasn’t just about suppressing an 18-year-old phenomenon Aeron Knightonwhose electrified run of 19.49 seconds on a Saturday afternoon in April caused Lyles to stop driving, drop plans for dinner (Thai food) and get back to his craft.

From the start, it was about running 19.31 seconds in the 200m (or faster) to break it Michael JohnsonAmerican Records. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Johnson ran 19.32 seconds with a gold shoe in the 200-meter final, reducing his world record by 34 seconds in one of the most famous sprints in history.

When Lyles crossed the finish line in the 200-meter World Track and Field Championships final in Eugene, Oregon, Thursday night, it was 19.32. Lyles, whose previous personal best performance was at 19.50, turned to the crowd and noticed another roar, a sequel to the moments before it in reaction to his powerful victory.

Lyles knew something was up. Look at another scoreboard showing what fans noticed – his winning time changed to 19.31, the number that’s been running all season. (In track and field it is common for unofficial initial finish times to change slightly as electronic timings.)

“I didn’t want to say 32,” Lyles said. “I wanted my own time. Nobody wants to share a record.

“Everything my coach and I talked about was like, ‘We’re chasing this record. “

Lyles, 25, repeated the world champion title and led the United States’ victory over the men’s 200 meters medals Kenny Bednarek (19.77) and Knighton (19.80). This came 15 minutes after the Jamaica match Sherica Jackson She won the women’s 200m in 21.45 seconds, the second fastest time in history after Florence Griffith JoynerThe world record of 21.34 from the 1988 Olympics. On Her Turf reports more on the women’s 200m here.

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For men’s 200m, Jamaicans only Usain Bolt (19.19) and Johann Blake (19.26) ran faster than Lyles, who was expected to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

Lyles said the difference between 2021 and 2022 is that he hasn’t pushed himself this year.

“You can go through a dark storm and come out of it better than you were before,” he said.

The final was billed as a showdown between budding rivals Lyles and Knighton, but Lyles put him away by hitting the best curve of his life.

“He was always there. I was just waiting for you to hit the target,” said Lyles, who did not run the 100m, his complementary event, this year because he was focused on Johnson’s record (and, to some extent, the win over Knighton). It will always come, once I first started I wanted and was able to get a race where I get [first] 100 [meters]. “

Johnson, at Hayward Field working for the BBC, walked the track and hugged Lyles, her father, KevinI raced against Johnson in the ’90s.

“I knew he was going to run faster than 19.32 days,” said Johnson, who met Lyles for the first time. “To be honest, when you have the world record, you don’t really focus on the national record. … As for Noah, I don’t think he really cares about the American record. He wants a world record. He might come in handy.”

Bednarek came back from a broken toe to repeat his silver from Tokyo.

Knighton, who finished fourth in Tokyo, became the youngest individual sprint medalist in world championship history, according to Bill Malone From Knighton was expected to run out of the turn but he didn’t, in part because he accidentally hit the side of the starting block with his right foot that was interacting with the gun.

“I was on the podium, so I can’t be angry,” he said.

Three more Americans won the 100m medal last Saturday. Fred CurleyAnd the Marvin Prause Williams And the Tryphon Brommel.

In the women’s 200m, Jackson became the only person to win world medals in the 100m, 200m and 400m in their career. Then, she “absolutely” answered a pair of questions – do you think you’d run that fast? And can you run faster?

She found redemption from the Olympic 200m, when she was eliminated in qualifying due to a lack of cluster effort.

“Last year was a disaster,” she said. “I wanted a refund.”

rustic Shelly Ann Fraser Price She took the silver, four days after winning her fifth world title in the 100 meters at age 35. Fraser-Price, who already has the same number of Olympic medals as Bolt (eight), will play Bolt in 14 world championships with a 4 relay medal x 100 meters on Saturdays.

Abby Steiner He was the top American in fifth. The United States won zero medals in the women’s flat sprints (100m, 200m and 400m) for the first time in the history of the World Championships.

In the Thursday finals, Christian TaylorA six-time Olympic and world gold medalist, she failed to reach the triple jump final on Saturday. Taylor, 32, who missed the Tokyo Games after breaking his Achilles tendon, was 18th in qualifying.

Olympic Champion Emmanuel Currier Kenya topped qualifying to the men’s 800m final on Saturday. All four Americans, including the injured world champion Donavan BrazzerThey were eliminated in the first round.

Olympic Champion Thing Mu She qualified for the women’s 800m semi-finals on Friday with the country women Raven Rogers (Olympic bronze medalist) and Agee Wilson (Twice World Bronze Medalist).

Qualification for Sunday’s men’s 5000m final: the defending champion in the 1500m (Norway Jacob Ingbrigtsen), 5000 m (Uganda Joshua Cheptige) and 10,000 AD (Ethiopia Salmon Bariga).

Friday’s World Championships continues with five finals, including the men’s and women’s 400m and women’s 400m hurdles with the Olympic gold medalist and world record holder. Sydney McLaughlin.

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