Retired Jamaica sprint superstar Usain Bolt has insisted he was never worried about rising United States track star Noah Lyles eclipsing his 200m world record at the Doha World Championships.
The 22-year-old American had a stellar season, even breaking Bolt’s meet record at the Paris Diamond League meet. On the back of several strong performances to claim the US 200m national title, including an effortless win at the US national trials, speculation grew that Lyles would go after the world’s best mark of 19.19 set in 2009.
In the end, Lyles was triumphant and claimed the 200m title in 19.83, while more than good enough for gold, the time was slower than some expected.
“I knew he wasn’t going to get it. It’s not easy. A lot of people see it and feel like you show up and you just run fast,” Bolt told NBC Sports Olympic Talk.
“For me, throughout the season, I figured out what I needed to do. I didn’t run races because I wanted to run fast. I ran races to figure out how I needed to run the corner, my technique I needed to fix. If you followed me through my career, I didn’t run a lot throughout the season. I trained. I ran and competed, figured out what I needed to improve, then did that [repeated that process] over again. That’s what I did to perfect my race [for the championships].”