Noah Lyles Eyes Usain Bolt’s 19.19 World Record, But Focus Is On Golds

No matter what, there is going to be a lot of hype surrounding the world’s fastest man in an Olympic year.

But Noah Lyles is taking it to another level.

First, there are his performances. In 2023, Lyles pulled off the 100/200 double at the World Championships in Budapest to cement himself as the face of men’s sprinting heading into the Olympics. He kept the ball rolling indoors this year, lowering his 60m PB by .08 to win the US title and the silver medal at World Indoors, then coming back to run a leg on the 4×400 at World Indoors and saying, yes he really does want to try to pull off an unprecedented Olympic quadruple — 100m, 200m, 4×100, and 4×400 gold in Paris.

Now, as he prepares for the outdoor season, Lyles’ confidence is sky-high. When asked which opponent he is worried about in 2024, Lyles told “After the 60, nobody. After what I ran in the 60, I just focus on me now. Everybody’s got me as their target now because I’m the champ. Now I’m planning on doing things that nobody’s seen before. Ain’t no reason to look backwards. I’m only looking forward.”

Noah Lyles warms up for his workout ( photo)

Not every athlete of Lyles’ stature would run a full indoor season during an Olympic year. Nor would they invite the attention and hype that Lyles does. He speaks his mind on any topic he pleases and is unafraid of creating high expectations. Lyles has already gotten paid, big-time, but he wants more people to pay attention to the sport of track & field and knows the Olympic year is a prime opportunity to do that.

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The hype and distraction surrounding Lyles were on display earlier this month when spent a day with him and his coach Lance Brauman at their adidas Pure Athletics training base at the Orlando Health National Training Center in Clermont, Fla., shortly after Lyles returned from World Indoors. The Netflix camera crew was there, Japanese TV, and a host of other media.’s talks with Lyles and Brauman from Florida are included as part of the latest Track Talk podcast, but we are re-releasing them today as a standalone podcast to people who just want to listen to the Lyles and Brauman interviews.

Listen in the player below or here on your favorite podcast player.

It’s All About……..the Olympic Trials

Despite the hype and buzz surrounding Lyles, the talk of four gold medals, and the talk of even breaking Usain Bolt‘s world record in the 200m, Lyles and Brauman are in agreement that the training now is focused on one thing: getting ready for the US Olympic Trials, held from June 21-30 in Eugene, Ore.

The most beautiful and brutal thing about being a track & field athlete in the United States is that no matter your pedigree, you must finish top three at the Olympic Trials to guarantee your spot on the Olympic team in an individual event. Lyles and Brauman are very aware of that.

“You can’t make the Olympic team if you don’t win [or get top 3 at] Trials. That’s what we peak for. Everything we’re doing now is to gear up for Trials for sure,” said Lyles as he relaxed on a bench during his speed endurance workout.

Brauman knows the brutality of the Trials more than most. Prior to Lyles and Bolt, the last man to pull off the 100/200 double at Worlds was Tyson Gay in 2007, who was also coached by Brauman. At the 2008 Olympic Trials, Gay won the 100 but injured his hamstring in the 200. That hamstring injury would linger into the summer, and Gay would not even make the final at the Olympics in Beijing. He would never win an Olympic medal of any color.

Noah Lyles (l) and Kendal Williams

“The emphasis right now is just trying to make the team in both. And if that happens, then we’ll turn the switch and get ready for Paris if we’re fortunate enough to be here,” said Brauman, noting that there is “zero” room for error for a sprinter at the US Trials. “It’s probably, every four years, the hardest meet in the world.”

What About Usain Bolt’s World Record?

While Brauman and Lyles may now be focused on the Olympic Trials, they are united in the belief that Lyles’ improvements in the 60m this year open up the possibility of breaking Usain Bolt’s 19.19 world record in the 200m.

“If we add that to what I’ve already done in the 200, I’m running 19.10,” said Lyles when asked about what his better times in the 60 meant for the 200.

Brauman echoed the sentiment, “Maybe he can run the world record, 19.15, 19.12, somewhere in that range, based off the same math, if I’m using it correctly. Will he do that? That’s hard to say. When you start talking that fast, there’s a lot of intangibles that you can’t control. Weather, time of year, environment, how tired are you from running three races before you get to that, which is five when you get to the final one,” Brauman said.

The Pure Athletics locker room – Udodi Onwuzurike on right

Lyles’ 200m personal best currently stands at 19.31, which he set in the final of the 2022 World Championships. In the preceding winter, Lyles had run a personal best of 6.55 for 60 meters. This year, he ran 6.43.

But the Main Goal Is Gold Medals

If you noticed in the quote above, Brauman suggested that if the world record is to go down, it will happen at a major championship.

When Bolt set his first 200m world record of 19.30 at the 2008 Olympics, it came in his eighth race in six days (four rounds in the 100, four rounds in the 200). His second (and current) 200m world record of 19.19 from the 2009 Worlds followed the exact same schedule.

Sprinters now only run three rounds at Olympics/Worlds instead of four, but Lyles’ winning time in Budapest (where he had three rounds of the 100 in addition to three rounds of the 200) was 19.52 compared to 19.31 in Eugene the year before (where Lyles did not run the 100 beforehand).

Noah Lyles, Kendal Williams, Udodi Onwuzurike, and Nick Mayhugh (l-r) doing a speed-endurance workout – 220, 180, and 3 x 120s.

That gets back to the first goal for Noah Lyles. Make the Olympic team and the rest will hopefully follow.

“The only goal for me, for him, or anybody else in my group is to make the team, and once they make the team, then we’ll worry about what happens at the Olympics,” said Brauman.

“Sprinters sprint. If you’re good enough and you have the ability to do both sprints, you do both sprints. In this sport to be considered one of the best of all times, you have to do special things. And part of doing special things are running a couple events in an Olympic Games. So, that’s the type of athlete he is. And the emphasis right now is just trying to make the team of both.”

Asked about whether he’d rather have Lyles break the world record or win the gold medal, Brauman was adamant: win the gold medal.

“Once you’re an Olympic champion, you’re always an Olympic champion. World records are great, but it’s not what this sport should be about. The sport is a competition, the sport’s running against the other guys in the race,” said Brauman.

How many Golds for Lyles in 2024? (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images for World Athletics)

Lyles, who earned 200m bronze at his first Olympics in Tokyo in 2021, was in total agreement on rather having the gold medal than the world record. “We are of the same mindset. Medals last forever. As long as you don’t get banned,” Lyles said.

Lyles on the doping problem in the sport and that 4×400

Speaking of getting banned, listen to the full podcast here or in the player below or check back Wednesday for part II, to hear what Lyles had to say about the problem of doping in the sport and what he thinks about his chances of running the 4×400. A preview of his thoughts: “When you talk about the top five 100m times, everybody but one person has been banned. Kinda sucks.”

Want Just sprint talk? Noah said he’d like there to be more sprint forums on the internet so we created one. Here is the Sprint Forum.

Full Noah Lyles and Lance Brauman Podcast: Listen in the player below or here on your favorite podcast player.

Want More sprint talk? Check out the Sprint Forum.

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