His counter is open: the prodigy of the US sprint Noah Lyles did not miss the first big appointment of his promising career by winning the world title in 200 m, Tuesday in Doha, may be the beginning of a long series.
In the face of a star since the retirement of legend Usain Bolt and engulfed in doping cases, athletics, again shaken by a scandal with the suspension for four years of coach Alberto Salazar, may have found his future savior with this 22 year old runner with a bright smile.
The coronation of Lyles is also somewhat counterbalancing that of the controversial Christian Coleman on 100 m. Where his compatriot plays the bad boy and has already seen his image damaged by the revelation of his three shortcomings to its location obligations, the racing car of Gainseville (Florida) is his perfect antithesis, the probity for the moment intact.
Even if the comparison is still hasty, Lyles tries to walk briskly in the footsteps of Bolt. Because with his silver colored hair in tribute to the manga "Dragon Ball Z", this amateur pop culture, painter and rapper in his spare time, hardly pass unnoticed, blowing a breath of fresh air to the first Olympic sport, currently in a very bad past. And on the track, it's pure dynamite.
Tuesday, despite an average start, he left no chance for his opponents to easily glean the gold medal promised to him well before the start of the World Championships. Victorious in 19 sec 83, he was ahead of Canadian Andre De Grasse (19 sec 95), already in bronze in 100m and back in the fore after two years of injury, and Ecuadorian Alex Quinonez (19 sec 98).
- Old demons -
For Lyles, the best is probably to come because his career has so far married a perfectly linear trajectory. Appearing on the scene in 2017, he misses the London Worlds on injury before exploding completely from the following year and then settle in the 4th rank of the record of all time on the U-turn. track in 2019 (19 sec 50).
But to become the real king of the sprint, Lyles will inevitably tackle the 100m, distance-queen on which he decided to ignore this season despite a personal record in 9 sec 86, made in Shanghai in May. But promised sworn, he will start in 2020 with a prospect in prospect that makes salivating against Coleman at the Tokyo Olympics.
While waiting for this confrontation, athletics was once again caught up by its old demons. A few hours after the announcement of the suspension of Alberto Salazar for "organization and incitement to prohibited doping conduct", it is one of his foals, the American Donovan Brazier, who flew over the 800 m (1 min 42 sec 34) as if nothing had happened. What to feed a little more controversy.
On the other hand, there was a lot more suspense on the pole when the American Sam Kendricks and the Swedish phenomenon Armand Duplantis (19 years old) gave themselves a nice fight in weightlessness. The two jumpers both crossed 5.97m but the Texan ended up retaining its crown in the number of tries.
© 2019 AFP