American Noah Lyles, 22, closing in on Usain Bolt's 200m record, Latest Athletics News - The New Paper

American Noah Lyles, 22, closing in on Usain Bolt's 200m record

American sprinter Noah Lyles stormed to the year's second-fastest 200 metres, 19.65 seconds, as he returned to competition at the Paris Diamond League meeting yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Reigning world champion Ramil Guliyev of Turkey was more than three-tenths of a second adrift in 20.01 and Canadian Aaron Brown finished third in 20.13.

"When I was coming off the turn, it felt like such a fast track, the fastest I've ever felt coming off the turn," said the 22-year-old Lyles, who was running for the first time since winning the 200m at last month's US championships.

"I'm coming off a loaded week in training so that gives me a lot of confidence," Lyles said. "I blinked and all of a sudden the race was over."

Lyles also owns the fastest time this year. His 19.50sec effort last month makes him the fourth-fastest man ever at the distance.

Lyles was asked whether he was thinking about Jamaican Usain Bolt's 2009 world record of 19.19 seconds as he heads into next month's world championships.

"It's not about going after Bolt's record or anything like that," Lyles said. "But when we get there, we're willing to go after any record."

The meeting was the last of the Diamond League regular season with only finals in Zurich and Brussels remaining before the world championships.

Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson again showed she is the class of the women's 100 metres, breaking away for an easy victory in 10.98 seconds. - REUTERS