On Tuesday, Lyles delivered on his pre-IAAF World Athletic Championships promise to win 200-meter gold — after which some in Doha, Qatar.
The 22-year-old American, who fashions his hair on Goku, a personality from the Japanese anime collection Dragon Ball-Z, took gold in a time of 19.83 seconds.
Bolt’s world report of 19.19 remained comfortably intact however Lyles has already pledged to decrease the Jamaican’s seemingly unattainable marks for each the 100m and 200m come Tokyo subsequent yr.
As he crossed the road in first place, Lyles stated: “It has been a protracted season however I am nonetheless on the market and I am nonetheless having enjoyable, and I nonetheless have many targets to attain.”
On the beginning line, Lyles regarded to the heavens and roared — akin to the kind of histrionics of Bolt earlier than his retirement in 2017. And just like the Jamaican, the American delivered in type.
Within the build-up to the World Championships, Lyles had sounded a assured be aware, writing on Instagram that he was beginning “the largest journey of my life and, with God’s plan I’ll come out victorious.”
At solely Lyles’ first main world championships, it’s maybe untimely to speak a few legacy, though the 22-year-old has solely to take a look at Bolt to see the way it’s completed.
‘A rock star’
Tuesday’s victory means Lyles has not misplaced at a gathering since ending fourth on the 2016 US Olympics trials and that was when he was nonetheless a high-school scholar.
His American teammate in Qatar, Justin Gatlin, described him as “a rock star — he likes to placed on a present.” And contained in the Khalifa Worldwide Stadium, Lyles did simply that, at an occasion a lot maligned for its lack of environment, the noise from the group befitting of a brand new champion.
Lyles by no means regarded in peril of defeat, Canadian Andre de Grasse taking the silver with Ecuadorian Alex Quinonez the bronze.
Nevertheless, behind the bubbling smile, there’s a story of hardships that has toughened him up on and off observe.
The one Bolt assembly
Born in Florida, the household relocated to Virginia. Lyles’ mother and father have been each completed sprinters with out fairly setting alight the athletics world like their son.
Lyles doesn’t lack for confidence. He has the phrase ICON tattooed on his aspect and, when he ran a private better of 19.50 seconds for the 200m in Paris earlier this yr — the fourth quickest time in historical past — he posted the message “Bolt who?” on social media.
Regardless of the bravado, Lyles can be cautious of the comparability with Bolt. However with the 2019 season now practically over, the person that might be king is making an excellent begin as sprinting’s new world pressure.
He has already achieved one thing Bolt by no means did, actually no man has, successful the Diamond League 100m and 200m titles in the identical season.
As for eclipsing Bolt’s data and occasions, the multiple-Olympic champion Michael Johnson tweeted earlier in the summertime: “Lyles is the one American I’ve seen that I imagine can surpass 19.32 [Johnson’s previous 200m world record]. Nevertheless, he is most likely extra appropriately specializing in 19.19!!!”