The reigning world champion in the 200m thought he had beaten the great Usain Bolt when he set a new world distance record for the Inspirational Games Thursday evening only to find out that he had only run 185 m due to an error by the organizers.
Lyles clocked 18.90 seconds in Zurich, which would have beaten Bolt’s 19.19 set in 2009.
But, since the American personal best is 19.50, the time was immediately called into question.
And it turned out that his superb performance was not everything it seemed – the race organizers had put him in the wrong lane before the shot.
Lyles, 22, tweeted his frustration at the error saying, “You can’t play with my emotions like that. I took the wrong way. ”
The Social Distance Inspiration Games involved 28 athletes divided into three teams taking part in eight events at seven different venues.
But Lyles was the only athlete on the track in Bradenton, Florida.
The competitors were connected by a live video and a timing link and a shared screen showed that Lyles, current for the North American team, worked quickly with Christophe Lemaitre of the European team in Zurich and Churandy Martina of the world team in Papendal.
You can’t play with my emotions like that….
put me in the wrong path smh 🤦🏾♂️
– Noah Lyles (@LylesNoah) July 9, 2020
Lyles crossed the finish line so far that it caused a spate of comment on social media as time ran out.
“It can’t be true, can it ?!” Wondered former British middle distance runner Steve Cram, commenting for the BBC.
Noah Lyles started on the opposite side of the track, but used the 400-meter start line, so he crossed the finish line 15 meters less than 200 meters. Its time of 18.90 would be ~ 20.40 to 200m and it was a wind of -3.7m / s. Incredible that the organizers can make such a mistake at this level. https://t.co/7VDUunB8S9
– PJ Vazel (@pjvazel) July 9, 2020
“He was miles ahead of everyone, that’s for sure,” said Colin Jackson, a former Olympic silver medal holder.
Unfortunately for Lyles, it turned out that Cram was right.