MONACO — Fast-emerging American sprinter Noah Lyles fired a warning shot by insisting that he would push himself to the maximum in the 100 meters of the Diamond League meet Friday, just a week after becoming the fourth-fastest 200 meters sprinter of all-time.
It was really exciting
The 21-year-old timed a breath-taking 19.50 seconds in Lausanne with only Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Michael Johnson having gone quicker.
“It was really exciting,” Lyles said of his performance.
“Running is my passion, so running fast each and every time and getting better and better is the exciting part of track so it makes my job even more exciting.”
Lyles added: “The 200 meters went really well. I have definitely seen an improvement there and we have been doing practice in the 100 meters so I think Friday could be a race where I can put everything together and see how far I can push myself.”
“There are nothing but fast times expected, all round.”
But Lyles would not commit to what time he expected would win the race, which also features American veteran Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist and current world champion.
“I’m not going to say a time. Any time I say a time all of a sudden we’re going to hear ‘It’s world record pace, world record pace!’”
In attempting to improve his century dash start, Lyles said he had been working with Ralph Mann, a 1972 Olympic 400-meter hurdles silver medalist for the United States, who went on to become a leading sports biomechanist who also helped Gatlin.
Lyles said Mann had him working on strength using pressure pads with the goal being to apply that pressure from the blocks into his start.
“I have definitely gotten a lot stronger,” he said. “I’m finally starting to get it.”