Noah Lyles reveals the 2022 disappointment that fuelled his desire to go for 100m gold in 2023

Noah Lyles reigned supreme in Budapest by winning three gold medals

ATHLETICS Noah Lyles reveals the 2022 disappointment that fuelled his desire to go for 100m gold in 2023

Joel Omotto 17:00 - 30.10.2023

Three-time world 200m champion Noah Lyles has explained one big disappointment in 2022 that saw him decide to run the 100m at this year’s World Championships in Budapest

World 100m and 200m champion Noah Lyles have revealed how missing out on the 2022 World Athlete of the Year Award encouraged him to go for 100m gold at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Lyles had a fantastic 2022 season when he defended his 200m world title on home soil in Eugene, Oregon after running 19.31, the third fastest time in history.

He remained undefeated in his specialist event that year, breaking 20 seconds in all 12 of his races, including heats and finals, before capping off a great year by winning the Diamond League Trophy at the final in Zurich.

With those achievements, Lyles thought he was a shoo-in for the World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year award but missed out to American-born Swede Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis, the world pole vault record holder.

Lyles says the disappointment of missing out on the prestigious award left him feeling he needed do more in 2023 to stand any chance, hence his decision to double in both 100m and 200m in Budapest.

“Last year was great but guess what, I did not win the athlete of the year, that was a problem, I run 19.31 [in 200m], the third fastest time ever seen on this planet and still didn’t get the athlete of the year,” Lyles during a conversation on his YouTube channel with Liberian-American sprinter Joseph Fahnbulleh.

“Mondo won it a second year in a row and I was like, that was a problem, we are going to change that. And I was like, obviously I have to win this 100m to get that and I have to win the 200m so everybody we are about to step it up.”

However, focusing on two races was not an easy decision and Lyles revealed how he toyed with the idea in 2022 before finally making up his mind this year.

“There was a moment in 2022 when were going for the double then I was like I am not ready. We have to focus on 200m because I am not ready yet,” said Lyles.

“This year, we are going to get to that point and I am going to say I am ready. I said; ‘coach, we have to step up the 100m game’ it just has to happen.”

That would set the stage for a total overhaul of his training programme with Lyles putting his money where his mouth is to ensure he achieved his dream.

“We have to bring in Ralph [Mann] more to asses my start to see if I can apply more force in the gym, lifting the weights and in the correct way, my masseurs, I brought in a physiotherapist. Usually, USTAF [USA Track and Field] provides one, but she has three camps to take care of. She is ruthless and diligent but she has a lot of athletes to take care of and I was like, I cannot rely on her,” he added.

“I have the resources, let me put them to use. I am a huge proponent of putting a lot of money in my medical and seeing a great return into it. My whole career, my medical budget is the biggest I take care of just because I know it is always going to give me a return on investment.

“We go to London and I am doing 9.4 and I am like, we are ready. I am looking at my start and it is the best it has ever been and I say; ‘this the moment we are going to have it [100m]’. Just believing now I have the pieces and I have told everybody what to do and we are all going for the same goal, I do not have to worry about anything anymore.”

The 26-year-old reaped the fruits of his labour when he run 9.83 to win the 100m gold before he went on to defend his 200m crown in Budapest.

With his two individual gold medals, added to the 400x100m relay crown won with Team USA, Lyles will be hoping to finally be crowned the Male Athlete of the Year in 2023.

It will not be easy, however, as he is up against Mondo once again, Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum, the world marathon record holder, Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, the world record holder for the indoor 1,500m and the 2,000m, Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali, world 3,000m steeplechase champion, world javelin champion Neeraj Chopra from India, among others.

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