Noah Lyles sets American record to win 200m world title as USA sweeps again


Noah Lyles still holds the men’s 200 meters.

Lyles broke Michael Johnson’s national record on Thursday night to repeat as world champion – and lead the second US sprint sweep in six days at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

Lyles, 25, crossed the finish line in 19.31, breaking his previous personal best of 19.50 and beating Johnson’s record – set at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta – by a hundredth of a second.

Reigning Olympic silver medalist Kenny Bednarek was second in 19.77, closely followed by 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton for bronze.

Fred Kerley, Marvin Bracy and Trayvon Bromell too gave the United States a sweep of the 100 during the weekend.

It’s the first time the Americans have swept both events at the same world championship, and only the second time the United States has swept the 200m. The other was in 2005, in Helsinki.

The story, however, was Lyles. It was a dominating performance from the 2021 Olympic bronze medalist, one that re-establishes him as the man to beat in a crowded 200-yard field and one of the sport’s biggest stars.

He looked like he had fun too.

That matters, given the struggles that Lyles has spoken about over the past few years. He was candid and detailed about how the COVID-19 pandemic affected him and how he failed to live up to his own expectations in Tokyo. This season, however, has been different.

“A totally different vibe,” Lyles said, according to The Associated Press. “If anything, it just makes it more fun. I got to come here and, I feel like the most ‘me’ I’ve been in years.”

Noah Lyles celebrates his gold medal in the men’s 200m.

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Shericka Jackson flirts with history

Meanwhile, in the women’s 200m, Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson came within about a tenth of a second of a world record.

Jackson won the 2022 world title in 21.45 seconds, the second fastest time ever – and the closest world record to Florence Griffith Joyner. Her compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took silver and Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain took bronze.

The two Americans in the running, Abby Steiner and Tamara Clark, finished fifth and sixth respectively.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Noah Lyles breaks Michael Johnson’s record to repeat as 200 world champion