Noah Lyles Wins 200m Gold, Breaks Michael Johnson's American Record at 19.31 Seconds

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 22, 2022

EUGENE, OREGON, USA - JULY 21:  Noah Lyles of Team United States celebrates after winning gold in the Men's 200m Final during the eighteenth edition of the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, United States on July 21, 2022. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Noah Lyles broke the American record in the men's 200 meters Thursday night with a 19.31-second performance to pull away from the field at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon.

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NOAH LYLES HAS BROKEN THE AMERICAN RECORD IN THE 200!<a href="https://twitter.com/usatf?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@usatf</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldAthleticsChamps?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldAthleticsChamps</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WCHOregon22?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WCHOregon22</a> <a href="https://t.co/xETIG1Qffm">pic.twitter.com/xETIG1Qffm</a>

Lyles eclipsed the previous mark held by Michael Johnson (19.32) by one-hundredth of a second, and Johnson was on hand to witness the passing of the torch.

The clock initially showed a tie at 19.32 before the official time confirmed the new record.

"I didn't want to see '32,' I didn't want to share a record," Lyles said, per Eddie Pells of the Associated Press. "Nobody wants to share a record. I think even Michael Johnson doesn't want to share a record. So I was just begging it to change."

Johnson added: "He just said he had a great race. He said he worked harder than he ever did. I thought he ran a great curve. And so, it was fantastic."

Lyles led an American sweep of the 200-meter podium. Kenny Bednarek (19.77) took home silver, while Erriyon Knighton (19.80) captured bronze.

The United States also swept the medals in the men's 100 meters and the men's shot put as part of a dominant showing in Oregon.

Team USA has won 22 of the 87 medals handed out at the event so far. No other country has more than eight (Ethiopia).

"America's, like, scooping up medals left and right," Lyles said. "This feels great because I've been waiting for America to come out and dominate since I got on the platform."

Lyles' new American mark ranks fourth in track history behind two Usain Bolt times (19.19 and 19.30) and one by Bolt's Jamaican countryman Yohan Blake (19.26).

It's the third World Championships gold for the 25-year-old Florida native, who in 2019 won the 200 meters and was part of the U.S.' winning 4x100-meter relay team.

Lyles won his first Olympic medal last summer when he secured bronze in the 200 meters with a time of 19.74 seconds.

This year's World Athletics Championships are scheduled to wrap up Sunday.