Three races, three wins, joint equal Personal best: Noah Lyles is giving fans the party he promised

 

For a man who isn’t particularly known for having a great start, Noah Lyles has given a good impression of someone having the best form of his life in the last few days. It can only get better for the American who just, surprisingly, won his second 100m title at the US Olympic trials.

The triple world champion has been smashing his socials at this year’s US Olympic trials with a barrage of beautiful pictures of his briefcase reveal. At the same time, he walked into the Hayward field like David Gandy, taking to the walkway at a men’s wear show. It wasn’t a new thing of sorts for Lyles. It was par for the course, but this here at the Olympic trials was a first of its kind, and he did put up a show for the audience, who were glued to their socials.

Fred Kerley, Noah Lyles, Kenny Bendarek, June 23, 2024, Men’s 100m final, photo by Chuck Aragon for RunBlogRun

Before he took to the track in his first race, something about his appearance foretold the chaos ahead. Aura, confidence and panache. It was here, three years ago, where he failed to make the US team in the men’s 100m. He felt distraught, considering he would go on and win just Bronze in his signature event- the 200m at the Tokyo Olympics. Something about track, more generally, just seems to get this man riled up.

Noah Lyles wins heat 1 in 9.92, June 22, 2024, photo by Chuck Aragon

In the three years since the last Olympics, Lyles has picked up the pieces and found his way to the top in men’s sprinting, much to the dismay of many, especially those who don’t like his guts. How dare he say he wants to win four Golds in Paris. Well, last I checked, everyone is allowed to have ambition. Society just wants to be able to gatekeep those who should have those ambitions, and they don’t like Lyles’s gut.

Keeping it fun, Noah Lyles, resplendent in GUCCI/adidas collaboration, with sports philosopher/style/music icon Snoop Dogg, photo by  TrackTown USA.

Having brushed up his drive phase in the last two years by competing in the men’s 60 meters and reducing his Personal Best to 6.43s this year, it was only a matter of time before he began to dominate the men’s 100 meters. Even when he won the world title last year, some sections of the fans still felt he wasn’t the best in the event. Similar to what happened to Olympic Champion Marcell Jacobs. But Lyles always finds a way to work harder and show up when it matters most. More importantly, he’s one of the few runners on the grid who oozes confidence all the time.

Noah Lyles takes 100m Men’s final, World Athletics Championships
Budapest, Hungary
August 19-27, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

Three races in Oregon, three dominant wins. How he controls the race from start to finish isn’t at the level of Usain Bolt or even the likes of Justin Gatlin or Tyson Gay, but Lyles sure knows how to turn on the after-burners when it matters the most. He ended the trials by equaling his Personal Best of 9.83s. This is an athlete who says he’s in the 9.7s shape.

Before the deluge, Noah Lyles, June 23, 2024, photo by Chuck Aragon for RunBlogRun

“I’ve always got weaknesses, but they’re looking pretty strong right now,” a beaming Lyles told the crowd in a post-race interview. “This is everything that I want moving forward. … We constantly look to the future because anything could happen,” Lyles said after the win.

Noah Lyles, styling, photo by Kevin Morris, 2024 NB Indoor GP

Lyles is a unique figure in track and field. He boldly states his goals and puts on a show, drawing attention to himself and setting the stage for potential criticism if he falls short. However, Lyles is undeterred by the prospect of losing or the backlash that might follow. He understands that the key to running at his fastest is letting go of the fear of losing.

The medalist in the Men’s 100 meters, Fred Kerley (third), Noah Lyles (first), and Kenny Bednarek (second), June 23, 2024, photo by Chuck Aragon, RunBlogRun,

This fearless approach enables him to perform at his highest level, highlighting his exceptional talent and mental fortitude. Lyles showcases his prowess and remarkable inner strength by embracing the possibility of failure. Failure is a key ingredient needed to reach the top of any sport, and no one understands its importance as much as Lyles.

At the end of the day, Lyles is ultimately locked in. The 200m seems to be a given at this point, considering how he’s not been defeated in the event for almost three years. The 4×100? The US team has it in the bag, judging by their recent performances. In the end, fans should expect the Lyles’ party to continue in Paris.

Noah Lyes, the King of his Domain, photo by Chuck Aragon, for RunBlogRun

​ 

 

 

By