Welcome to the World Champs 2023 Preview, Day 7.
For the next 38 days, RunBlogRun will be posting a story a day on the buildup to the World Athletics Outdoor Championships, to be held in Budapest, Hungary, from August 19-August 27, 2023. Today, April 23, 2023, we are writing about athletes from North America
So, I thought we would write about Noah Lyles, one of the most exciting athletes on the circuit.
The sprints are hugely popular in our sport. The 100 meters and the 200 meters are events most school children run, and as adults, we can appreciate the distance and celebrate the speed of the great ones.
Noah Lyles is one of the great ones, having won two titles at 200 meters in World Championships so far; Noah will go for a third in Budapest! But, he is suggesting that, in Budapest, that he would like to go for much more than the 200 meters.
Noah Lyles is perfectly built and focused for the sprints, both the 100 meters and 200 meters.
In his seven years of training with Lance Brauman and adidas sponsored coach who runs the Pure Athletic Track Club, Noah Lyles and his brother, Josephus, have developed from talented high school athletes into two of the finest sprinters in the world.
Noah Lyles seems to thrive on the attention that comes with being a world-class athlete.
This writer has interviewed Noah at least once a year over the last seven years. I have noticed that as his fitness grows, so does his confidence.
Noah Lyles thrives on the energy of the crowd. He needs the energy like he needs to breathe.
Since 2017, Noah Lyles has won the Diamond League Finals in 2017, 2018, 2018, and 2019, at the 200 meters, and in 2019, Noah also won the 100 meters. In 2022, Noah Lyles won the 200-meter final of the DL once again.
What is his talent in the furlong? Well, if you would have asked me two years ago, I would have noted that Noah Lyles has a blazing last 50 meters coming off the turn; that is hard to believe.
Noah Lyles is the two-time World Champion at 200 meters and also the one-time gold medalist at the 4 x 100-meter relay. In 2019, Noah Lyles won the 200 meters in Doha and anchored a gold medal-winning 4×100 meter relay.
During the pandemic, his coach, Lance Brauman, found ways to keep all of his athletes motivated and focused, which was hard to accomplish, with the cancellation of most races and terrible weather in the Spring of 2021. In 2021, Noah Lyles had some physical challenges, and while he won the Olympic Trials at the 200 meters, he took the bronze in the 200 meters at 19.74, equalling his best time of the year from the 2021 Olympic Trials in Hayward Field.
Noah Lyles told the media that he was very happy to win an Olympic medal in 2021, but he also knew he was not in top form. 2022 was a very different story.
His health is back; his racing over 60 meters was quite good, achieving a PB over the 60 meters of 6.55, which resulted in some fine 200-meter racing in 2022. How good? Noah ran 12 races over 200 meters, all under 20 seconds! His World Championship performance was stunning as he came off the blocks strong and raced the entire 200 meters, pushing himself to his mortal limits and running 19.31, breaking the AR of one Michael Johnson. Michael Johnson came down on the track (he is now a BBC broadcaster) and congratulated Noah. Noah Lyles told this writer that he loved the act by MJ Gold. Noah Lyles also won a silver medal in the 4x100m relay and defended his 200m title from 2019.
Noah Lyles set a big PB at the 60 meters this season, running 6.51 at the 2023 NB Indoor Grand Prix. Already outdoors, Noah has run 9.95 and 9.92.
Noah Lyles has told the media that he will double over 100 meters and 200 meters in 2023. He has the speed and the focus, but competing in the US Champs and in Budapest will be challenging?
Noah Lyles loves challenges, and he loves how the crowd will be cheering him on as he tears around the turn in the National Stadium in Budapest next summer, and as he draws on all of his talents to put his name next to a new 200-meter world record.
When this writer speaks with Noah Lyles, it is apparent that the young American superstar believes that his destiny is the World record for the 200 meters. He believes in it with his heart, mind, and soul. The curious thing is, this writer does not see it as overconfidence but the confidence that comes from having a superb coach, training program, and culture around him.
For Noah Lyles, Impossible is nothing.
The World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, will be held August 19-27, 2023, and tickets are available now! Click here to learn more about ticket sales: https://tickets.wabudapest23.com/
Your favorite writer suggests a wonderful book on Hungary, The Hungarians, A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat, by Paul Lendvai, Translated by Ann Major, Princeton University Press, www.pupress.princeton.edu.