Noah Lyles won his second consecutive world title at 200 meters, breaking the American record in one of the week’s most highly anticipated events.
Lyles broke Michael Johnson’s national record Thursday night to repeat as world champion – and lead the second U.S. sprint sweep in six days at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
Lyles, 25, crossed the line in 19.31, shattering his previous personal best of 19.50 and besting Johnson’s record – set at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta – by one hundredth of a second.
Then, to celebrate, Lyles was greeted on the track by Johnson, which caught the new record holder by surprise. It was the first time the men had met in person. But no, Johnson did not give Lyles his famed golden spikes.
“I can’t take those,” cried Lyles, an adidas-sponsored athlete, “those are Nikes!”
Kenny Bednarek, the reigning Olympic silver medalist, came in second in 19.77, with 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton (19.80) close behind him for bronze.
It was the second sweep for the American men in the sprints, as Fred Kerley, Marvin Bracy and Trayvon Bromell also went 1-2-3 in the 100.
It’s the first time the Americans have swept both events at the same world championship, and just the second time the U.S. has swept the 200. The other was 2005, in Helsinki.