For a brief moment, American Noah Lyles must have thought he was going to become one of the most talked-about athletes of all time.
Running in the Inspiration Games 200-metre sprint yesterday, Lyles crossed the finish line in 18,90 seconds, obliterating Usain Bolt’s 2009 world record of 19,19 seconds.
BBC commentator Steve Cram immediately questioned the time, and even Lyle himself wore the sort of grin that belied the fact that he didn’t quite believe what he was seeing.
Listen to Cram below, who also reveals what the one major problem with that time is around the one-minute mark:
Yeah, breaking a 200-metre world record is far easier when you’re only running 185 metres.
Following instructions from officials, Lyles had started from the wrong mark, and ran a full 15 metres less than the other athletes.
The BBC below:
The farcical ending to one of the event’s headline races will be a major embarrassment to Inspiration Games organisers, who banked on television and timing technology to make a major international athletics event possible despite the restrictions of coronavirus…
Lyles was removed from the race results and victory in the three-man race handed to Lemaitre instead. Winners of each event at the meeting received a $10,000 (£7,930) prize.
If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to win the lottery, only to find out five minutes later that your ticket was fake, just ask Lyles.
He took it rather well on social media, though:
You can’t be playing with my emotions like this….
got me in the wrong lane smh 🤦🏾♂️
— Noah Lyles (@LylesNoah) July 9, 2020
Compare that reaction to UFC fighter Mike Perry, for example.
If you adjust the time for the full 200 metres, Lyles would have run around 20,4 seconds, which is still impressive, but a fair way off what Bolt was cracking during the peak of his career.
It may be a very, very long time before we see his like again.
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