“Have to leave the sport” - Noah Lyles aims to forge his own path and distance himself from Usain Bolt comparisons

Meeting de Paris - Diamond League
Noah Lyles at the USATF Outdoor Championship

Noah Lyles, the two-time 200m defending world champion, has expressed his desire to forge his own path and not be compared to legendary sprinter Usain Bolt.

Lyles, who holds the fastest 200-meter time in U.S. history, has faced challenges in the 100-meter event and aims to improve in that area.

In an interview at the USATF championship, Noah Lyles revealed that he often hears comparisons to Bolt from coaches and agents. However, he made it clear that he wants to be known for his own accomplishments and not be defined by someone else's legacy.

"I bet coaches and agents will be like, don`t you want to like Usain Bolt? I don`t want to be like Usain Bolt; I want to be like Noah Lyles."

Lyles expressed his surprise at hearing such comparisons, as he had believed they would only come once he had left the sport.

"I thought I was going to have to leave the sport and be done with it before I heard something like that."

By striving to be the best version of himself, Lyles aims to create his own legacy and leave a lasting impact on the sport of athletics.

Noah Lyles: Chasing records and establishing his legacy in sprinting

Noah Lyles at the 2023 USATF Indoor Championships
Noah Lyles at the 2023 USATF Indoor Championships

Noah Lyles has had impressive performances in the 200m. He broke Michael Johnson's world record at the World Championships in Oregon in 2022 with a time of 19.31 seconds. He has established himself as one of the most consistent sprinters in the world and is known for his strong finishes in the 200m.

In the United States National Championship, Lyles will be competing in the 100-meter event. He is known for his prowess in the 200m. But he will need to bring his top speed to the table in the 100m finals and also ensure he qualifies for the finals.

Breaking Usain Bolt's record in the 100m is a challenging feat, but Lyles has the ability to come close to it if he runs his race under the right circumstances.

The American's reaction time and his ability to maintain a relaxed form throughout the race are key factors in his success. He accelerates for a majority of the middle 100m in the 200m, which contributes to his strong finishes.

However, the same approach might not be as effective in the 100m. This is because he would need to sacrifice some of his strengths in the 200m to excel in the shorter distance.

While Noah Lyles acknowledges that he is not Usain Bolt, he aims to establish his own legacy. Only a few athletes have mastered both the 100m and 200m events, such as Bolt, Yohan Blake, Carl Lewis, Jesse Owens, and Tyson Gay. Lyles hopes to join that elite group and make his mark in both sprinting disciplines.

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Edited by Aditya Singh