American Noah Lyles roared to victory in a sensational men’s world championships 100m in Budapest on Sunday to extend the US dominance in track and field’s blue riband event in the post-Usain Bolt era.
Lyles, who already has two world 200m titles to his name and will go for a third in the Hungarian capital, clocked 9.83sec — the fastest 100m time of the season so far — for victory at the National Athletics Centre.
“They said it couldn’t be done. They said I wasn’t the one. But I thank God I am,” bellowed Lyles after dancing around in delight when his win was confirmed on the big screen.
Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo, 20, claimed silver in 9.88sec in a photo-finish from Anguilla-born Briton Zharnel Hughes.
Lyles’ victory represented a fourth consecutive American gold in the men’s 100m, following in the footsteps of Justin Gatlin in London in 2017, Christian Coleman in Doha two years later and Fred Kerley in Eugene last year.
Bolt won the last of his three titles in Beijing in 2015, before retiring after the bronze he won in London two years later.
The final in the Hungarian capital, widely regarded as the most open in 20 years, had been further blown apart in a set of dramatic semi-finals earlier in the evening.
Neither reigning champion Fred Kerley nor Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs managed to make the final eight, opening the door for Lyles to stage his ambush.
In sultry conditions, with temperature of 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit), Lyles was drawn in lane six, outside Hughes, with Coleman on his left.
It was 2019 champion Coleman, who missed the Tokyo Olympics because of an 18-month suspension for missing multiple drug-testing appointments, that got the better start.
Racing low and hard out of his blocks, the American was quickly ahead of the field.
But Lyles, on his coattails, gradually reeled him in through an effective drive phase over the last 60 metres.
As Coleman faded, two-time world under-20 champion Tebogo delivered the race of his life for silver.
Hughes snatched bronze by three-thousandths of a second from Jamaican Oblique Seville, with Coleman fifth in 9.92.
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown of Japan improved on his seventh place in Eugene last year to bag sixth, while Kenya’s in-form Commonwealth champion Ferdinand Omanyala came in seventh, just ahead of a second Jamaican, Ryiem Forde.
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