2023 World Athletics Championships

Noah Lyles Makes Huge Statement With 100m Win At Worlds

Noah Lyles Makes Huge Statement With 100m Win At Worlds

He may have talked his way into the 100m final, but Noah Lyles certainly silenced any doubter by race's end.

Aug 20, 2023 by Cory Mull
Noah Lyles Makes Huge Statement With 100m Win At Worlds

If early rounds were all about talk, then Noah Lyles made sure to make the final feel like whiplash. 

The Virginia native won his first outright 100 meter title on Sunday at the World Championships, downing the field -- and any of those remaining doubters -- on his way to a winning time of 9.83 seconds inside the National Athletics Centre in Budapest, Hungary. 

His performance not only tied a World lead at the distance, but it was also a personal wind-legal best for Lyles, whose last PR of 9.86 came back in 2019. 

Lyles, a two-time World champion in the 200m in 2019 and 2022, wasn't the fastest out of the blocks, but, as NBC commentator Ato Boldon later suggested, he didn't have to be and only needed his final 50 meters to be perfect. 

Perhaps those early rounds were vital for Lyles, who commented after Saturday's opener that he put "power" down over the final 50 meters. He ran 9.95 seconds in the first round and 9.87 seconds in the semifinal to advance to the final. 

What failed to happen, however, was a concluding matchup with fellow U.S. star Fred Kerley. 

Chatter to begin the week helped create tension after Lyles declared he would run 9.65 seconds in the 100m, only for Kerley, the defending 100m World champion, to reply, "I'm running faster." 

But that tension -- and the potential for a rivalry race -- vanished after Kerley failed to advance out of the semifinals on Sunday. Christian Coleman, who finished sixth last year in the 100m, never challenged either and finished fifth. 

Lyles didn't crack the U.S.'s top 10 performances all-time at the distance, but he did power past Botswana's Letsile Tobogo and Great Britain's Zharnel Hughes and Jamaica's Oblique Seville over the final meters to claim victory. Ultimately, that's what matters. 

Tobogo claimed a Botswanan national record in 9.88 seconds for second, while Hughes was third in 9.88. 

Coleman got out of the blocks well, but three steps in he stuttered. He said later he couldn't recover. 

The first two days of the World Championships are only the beginning for Lyles, who is aiming to secure a World double in the 100m and 200m. He will also likely feature for the U.S. in the 4x100. 

Lyles, a 2016 T.C. Williams High School graduate, has some time to recover. The 200m heats begin on Aug. 23.