During the past weekend of June 3-4, 2023, Noah Lyles ran 19.67, the world leader, in the 200 meters, in Kingston, Jamaica. He was treated as sprint royalty by the Jamaican crowd, and what was filmed was a wonderful meeting with Usain Bolt and Noah Lyles. 

Deji Ogyeingbo wrote this piece on Noah’s current global sprint food chain position. 

Noah Lyles has a long way to reach Bolt’s heights but is on the right trajectory. 


Very rarely does an American compete in a track meet in Jamaica and steals the shine. It’s the Island nation’s biggest export alongside Reggae, which they hold dear. So, it felt fitting when Noah Lyles was the day’s star attraction at the Races Grand Prix. Not necessarily because of his 19.67s win over the 200m, but largely due to Usain Bolt-who is regarded as the greatest sprinter of all time, coming over to share a hug and chit chat with the enigmatic American. 

Noah Lyles, adidas Atlanta City Games, photo by Kevin Morris

It was later revealed that Bolt was urging Lyles to keep his effervescence in the sport, a trait that warmed himself to the hearts of fans globally. That was it. No talk about potentially breaking his 200m world record of 19.19s which has stood since 2019. Deep down, Bolt knows the American will be gunning for it. After all, he became the third fastest man in history last year when he ran 19.31 to win his second world title over 200m.

For over a decade, no sprinter has come close to challenging this legendary mark. Yohan Blake gave it a go in 2012 when he was at his peak and ran 19.26s, but he has been on a downward spiral since. In fact, only Bolt has run more sub-20 seconds in the history of the 200m, and Lyles is just one race short of surpassing that. That record will definitely fall, but the one that the American has his eyes gazed upon must be breaking Bolt’s electrifying world record.

Noah Lyles, adidas Atlanta City Games, photo by Kevin Morris

Blessed with natural talent and a captivating personality, he possesses the potential to captivate both die-hard athletics fans and casual observers alike. Lyles’ meteoric rise has been punctuated by numerous accolades, including multiple national titles and global championship medals. His prowess over the 200m has gone unmatched in the last five years, as he consistently delivers impressive performances in the event. Despite his young age, Lyles has already clocked several times under 19.70s, placing him firmly within striking distance of Bolt’s revered world record.

To fully grasp the significance of Lyles’ pursuit, it is imperative to understand the magnitude of Bolt’s achievements. Bolt forever altered the landscape of sprinting with his extraordinary speed, infectious charisma, and seemingly insurmountable world records. Bolt’s stranglehold on the 200m in particular, remains unchallenged.

Noah Lyles, adidas Atlanta City Games
Street Meet, photo by Kevin Morris

Bolt’s 19.19s performance in Berlin was nothing short of transcendent. It represented the culmination of an era-defining career, showcasing the perfect blend of raw speed, technical mastery, and unparalleled athleticism. 

For Noah Lyles, the path to greatness involves surpassing his contemporaries and dismantling the formidable barrier erected by Bolt’s record. It is a task that demands not just physical prowess but mental fortitude and unwavering self-belief.

Noah Lyles takes a close 200m from Erriyon Knighton, USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, June 23-26, 2022, photo by Kevin Morris

The American sprinter is acutely aware of the significance of his undertaking. Lyles has publicly spoken about his admiration for Bolt and his deep respect for the legacy he left behind. Rather than being daunted, Lyles embraces the challenge, drawing inspiration from Bolt’s extraordinary performances. He sees the pursuit of the world record as a chance to forge his own unique legacy while paying homage to the man who came before him.


To break a world record as iconic as Bolt’s, Lyles must perfect every aspect of his craft. This involves meticulous attention to detail, from honing his technique to optimizing his physical conditioning. Lyles’ training regimen is designed to enhance his explosive speed, refine his form, and maximize his efficiency around the curves. As it stands, 

Under the guidance of his coach Lance Brauman, Lyles is focused on pushing the boundaries of what is humanly possible. This pursuit extends beyond the physical realm; Lyles also emphasizes a lot on improving his first 100m as his start has been a bit of a struggle, and perfecting it will take him a step closer to breaking Bolt’s record. 

As Noah Lyles embarks on his quest to dethrone Bolt, the world of athletics eagerly anticipates what lies ahead. The men’s 200 meters is poised for an epic showdown between Lyles and the shadow of Bolt’s record, with each race bringing the possibility of a historic breakthrough. Track enthusiasts, pundits, and fans alike are captivated by the potential spectacle that awaits. The allure lies in us seeing another sprint record fall. 

Noah Lyles, adidas Atlanta City Games, photo by Kevin Morris

While the outcome remains uncertain, what is undeniable is the sheer excitement and anticipation that surrounds Lyles’ every race. The world watches with bated breath, ready to celebrate alongside Lyles if he manages to surpass the seemingly unassailable record set by the legendary Usain Bolt.