Noah Lyles Eyes 100m Gold, 18-Second 200 and the 400 World Record?

February 9, 2023

NEW YORK — Noah Lyles faces world record holder Christian Coleman in the 60m at Saturday’s Millrose Games before a national TV audience. Sure, Lyles wants to win, but winning Saturday is secondary to the bigger prize Lyles is focusing on outdoors: the world 100m title.

When asked if he’d rather break the 200m world record or be the 100m world champion this year, Lyles said, “I’ll take world champion ‘cause I could just break the world record anytime [after].”

“I need to be a 9.7 runner to make sure that that 200 record goes down, and obviously I need to be a 9.7 runner if I want to make a claim to that double this year with the 100. So working on the 60 is really what it’s all about. I don’t need to win. Of course winning is great. It’s fun,” Lyles said, noting “the goal of indoors is more progression of outdoors.”

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“I’m the man to beat in the 100”

Lyles beats Bromell at 2023 NBIGP Lyles turned a lot of heads when he beat Bromell last week at 60 in Boston

While Lyles was the USATF 100m champion in 2018, to be 100m world champ in Budapest, he’ll likely have to defeat 2022 world champ Fred Kerley, 2021 Olympic champ Marcell Jacobs, Trayvon Bromell, and 2019 world champ Coleman.

When asked if he viewed Kerley as the 100m favorite, the always-confident Lyles replied, “I’m the man to beat in the 100. I ain’t worried about Fred. Fred gonna do Fred. I’m gonna do me.”

Does Lyles get his confidence from his performances or is it innate?

“Confidence is a weird thing. There’s so many different key components to it. Some people gain confidence by having good practices back to back. Some people have confidence just by beating certain people. Some people have confidence by winning races. But for me, my confidence comes from the fact that I know that whatever I choose my goal to be, I will achieve it. Now, when I achieve it, I don’t get to determine, but I know that I will achieve it.”

The 200 world record = 18…

While Lyles would rather win 100m gold than break the 200m world record, that is not because Lyles does not have his sights on the 200 record. He just wants to take it to another stratosphere.

“I’m not going after the record, it’s just along the way to the end goal. The end goal is to leave the record so high that anytime somebody looks at it, they’re gonna think that’s impossible,” he said.

How high? 18-something?

“I mean, 18, 18.8, 18.7, or 18.6,” Lyles said.

While Lyles wants to do something no human being has done before on a track at 200m, he was beaten by his younger brother Josephus in the 60m three weeks ago.

And the 400 world record?

Although Josephus has only beaten Noah in the 60m and 55m dashes, Noah said he thought it was more likely his brother would beat him in a longer event like the 400m, which was the event in which their dad, Kevin, won world 4×400 gold in in 1995.

When asked what he thought he could run 400 in, Lyles had more than a little confidence. “I’d easily run 43. I’d need time to prepare. Truthfully, if I wanted to, I think I could break the world record,” he said.

The joy is back for Noah Lyles

True mastery of the 100, 200, and 400 is something that has never been done before in the sport.

Whether Lyles is able to achieve it is yet to be determined. He still is looking for his first Olympic gold medal, but he is in a good place off the track.

Lyles openly discussed how he struggled with depression during the COVID-19 shutdown and Black Lives Matter movement after the killing of George Floyd. He got on anti-depressants and then off them, but is now in a much better place.

“If you watch a smile [of mine] in 2021, you see the smile and it’s flattering and it does its job. But do you see the joy? No. If you look throughout 2022, you could see that light and gleam and joy in my eyes.”

Noah Lyles after winning 2023 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix The 2023 Smile (Kevin Morris Photo)

Lyles said he hoped his mental health journey can help others learn about themselves.

“I feel that mental health is [presented as] ‘Oh, you need to go to therapy.’ That’s not mental health. Mental health is a part of everyday life. The fact that you look at your friend and see that they’re down and say, ‘Hey, you want to talk about it?’ Or, just maybe ‘I can help. Let me take a load off of you.’

“Knowing that you’re going through what you’re going through is the first key. Knowing how to control your emotions is the next key. And I’ll tell you, when you’ve become a pro at it, when you start seeing it in others, that’s when you’ve become a pro at it.”

Noah Lyles is definitely a pro on the track and sounds like he’s becoming one off it.

On the world famous forum: Discussion: Rank in order of difficulty for Noah Lyles: 100m Gold, 18-second 200m, 400m WR

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