Lyles: Bolt not wrong to doubt championship mettle

By Sports Desk July 28, 2019
Noah Lyles and Usain Bolt. Noah Lyles and Usain Bolt.

Rising United States sprinting talent Noah Lyles has admitted legendary Jamaica sprinter Usain Bolt was right to question his championship mettle but hopes to silence all doubters at the upcoming IAAF World Championships.

The 22-year-old Lyles has recently featured prominently among the handful of names labeled as potentially next in line to inherit the throne vacated by the big Jamaican.

 To add fuel to the fire, Lyles recently clocked an impressive 19.50, the fourth-fastest time in the event’s history, in Lausanne, Switzerland last month.  While admitting that Lyles was unquestionably a huge talent, Bolt insisted he was waiting to see such performances replicated on the big stage.

“Yeah, I’ve seen him run, I’ve seen him compete,” Bolt told the New York Times.

“Last season he was doing a lot of good things, this season he has started off good. But as I said, it all comes down to the championship. Is he confident to come into a race after running three races and show up? For me, he has shown that he has talent, but when the championship comes, we will see what happens,” he added.

Lyles is yet to compete at a major championship and is also a threat over 100m but dropped the event from his schedule at the United States national championship to ensure full focus on the 200m.

“Sounds about right to me, sounds like my thoughts exactly,” Lyles said when shown the Bolt’s comments.

“It’s why I decided to run one event this year.”

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    Speaking after the final evening session last Sunday, Coe noted that six championship records had been set, 43 countries had won medals, and athletes from 68 different nations had achieved at least one top-eight placing. There have been 21 area records – double the number from 2017 – and 86 national records have been broken, underlining the global reach of the sport.

    “For those who follow our sport closely, you will know that we rank our championships on the performances of the athletes,” Coe said. “It is how we, the athletes and the coaches measure our success.

    “The world’s athletes have put on the best show in the history of the IAAF World Athletics Championships, according to the competition performance rankings which are used as an objective measure of the quality of international competition.

    “These performances are incredible but credit must also go to the facilities and conditions provided by the host country. Doha has created conditions on the field of play and in the warm up that are unsurpassed.

    “We are proud of the fact we reach more countries than any other sport,” added Coe. “Just look at the breadth and depth – 43 countries on the medals table and 86 national records set. We want our athletes to experience different cultures and different conditions. It’s what makes our sport so accessible.”

    Dahlan Al Hamad, Vice President of the local organising committee, was delighted to see Qatar’s dreams become reality.

    “Our dream started in 1997 when we organised the first meeting in this stadium,” he said. “After that, we kept hosting many meets until 2000 when we organised the Grand Prix Final. We continued our journey in 2010 when we organised the World Indoor Championships in the nearby Aspire Dome. We also organised the Diamond League meeting here and it was really good.

    “We are thrilled we have been able to expand. There are generations here who are hungry to have this kind of sporting event here. Qatar is a nation of more than 100 communities. They have been able to celebrate their athletes from all around the world.”

     

    Top ranked World Championships

    Based on the IAAF competition performance rankings, used to rank the quality of competitions, the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 tops the list of all World Championships to date.

     

    Taking the best five results and athletes from the best 24 events, the top five editions are:

     

    1. 2019, Doha – 195,869
    2. 2015, Beijing – 194,547
    3. 2017, London – 193,426
    4. 2013, Moscow – 192,664
    5. 2009, Berlin – 191,168

     

    Based on the average scores of all track and field results, the top five editions are:

     

    1. 2019, Doha – 1024.75
    2. 2017, London – 1012.84
    3. 1999, Seville – 1007.98
    4. 2015, Beijing – 1004.78
    5. 2009, Berlin – 1004.55

     

    There have been many outstanding performances over the 10 days of competition with unprecedented depth in many of the finals. Based on the IAAF scoring tables, the top five men’s and women’s performances are:

     

    MEN

    22.91m Joe Kovacs (USA) shot put – 1295pts

    22.90m Tom Walsh (NZL) shot put – 1294pts

    22.90m Ryan Crouser (USA) shot put – 1294pts

    9.76 Christian Coleman (USA) 100m – 1291pts

    43.48 Steven Gardiner (BAH) 400m – 1289pts

     

    WOMEN

    7.30m Malaika Mihambo (GER) long jump – 1288pts

    48.14 Salwa Eid Naser (BRN) 400m – 1281pts

    48.37 Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH) 400m – 1272pts

    3:51.95 Sifan Hassan (NED) 1500m – 1271pts

    6981 Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR) heptathlon – 1269pts

     

    The championships have not just been about record-breaking performances, though. This edition will also be remembered for its close finishes, surprise winners, moments of fair play, and the arrival of the next generation of athletics stars.

    USA’s 200m winner Noah Lyles and Germany’s decathlon victor Niklas Kaul became the youngest ever world champions in their respective events. Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh twice broke the world U20 record on her way to the silver medal in the high jump. She was one of several athletes born in or after the year 2000 who earned medals, along with Ethiopian duo Selemon Barega and Lemecha Girma and Bahrain’s Musa Isah.

    The innovations – including light shows, new camera angles and increased engagement with athletes – have helped the sport reach a younger audience around the world.

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