1 of 5 | Noah Lyles (L), who won bronze in the 200-meter final at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, won gold in the event at the World Athletics Championships on Thursday in Eugene, Ore. File Photo by Bob Strong/UPI | License Photo
July 22 (UPI) -- Noah Lyles broke a 26-year-old record held by famed sprinter Michael Johnson en route to a stunning win in the 200-meter final to claim a title for the United States at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore.
Lyles scorched down the track and clocked an American-record time of 19.31 seconds to win the event late Thursday at Hayward Field. The time just edged Johnson's 19.32, which set a then-world record at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. That mark is now held by Jamaica's Usain Bolt (19.19).
Lyles stared at the clock after he crossed the finish line, as his time was first listed at 19.32 and was tied with Johnson. He then turned his back just before officials changed his time to 19.31.
"I knew it was coming," Lyles told reporters. "I've just been waiting for it for a few months now. I finally got my start down to where I wanted it to. I knew it was going to be the day."
Fellow Americans Kenneth Bednarek and Erriyon Knighton claimed respective silver and bronze medals from Thursday's 200-meter final. Bedarkek clocked a season-best 19.77, just ahead of Knighton's 19.80.
Lyles' time was the third-fastest in history, behind Bolt and Jamaican Yohan Blake.
Bednarek and Lyles claimed respective silver and bronze medals in the same event at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. Canadian Andre De Grasse, who claimed gold in that event, did not compete in Thursday's final.
Lyles also won gold in the event at the 2019 World Athletics Championships.
Earlier Thursday, Jamaica's Shericka Jackson set a national and championship record with a time of 21.45 in the women's 200-meter final. She edged fellow Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce's season-best 21.81. England's Dina Asher-Smith claimed bronze.
Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah, who won gold in the 200-meter final in Tokyo, finished seventh in Eugene. No other finals were held Thursday.
The finals for the women's javelin throw, women's 400-meter, men's 400-meter and women's 400-meter hurdles will be held Friday at the World Athletics Championships.
The first window of coverage of the events will stream from 9:05 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. EDT Friday on Peacock. The second coverage window will run from 7:45 to 11:25 p.m. EDT on the same platform.
TV coverage will air from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. EDT on USA Network. World Athletics Championships events will run through Sunday.