Lyles seals sprint double before world championships

Lyles has broken through in the past two years and bettered Usain Bolt’s Paris Diamond League record for 200 metres last month.

Lyles became the first man in the Diamond League’s 10-year history to win both the 100 and 200 metres titles in the same season.   -  REUTERS

American Noah Lyles completed a sprint double with victory in the 200 metres at the Diamond League finals on Friday to add to last week’s 100 title before he seeks to be crowned world champion for the first time later this month.

In the last major meeting before the world championships in Doha starting on Sept. 27, Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith also put down a marker with victory in the women’s 100 metres.

Lyles was pushed by Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev and Canada’s Andre de Grasse, with both running season’s bests.

Lyles, 22, had talked on Thursday of wanting to improve on his personal best, but on a cold wet evening in Brussels he had to settle for a still respectable 19.74 seconds.

The American said it had started to rain just before the gun went off, while two of the pins on his bib popped off. He also felt a sudden urge to use the bathroom for the first time ever in a race.

“It was chaotic to be honest, a lot happened in that race,” Lyles said.

“That’s when the race became a lot more complicated... This was definitely a test.”

In a photo finish, Guliyev came second, just ahead of De Grasse.

Lyles has broken through in the past two years and bettered Usain Bolt’s Paris Diamond League record for 200 metres last month.

He also became the first man in the Diamond League’s 10-year history to win both the 100 and 200 metres titles in the same season, having won the shorter sprint in Zurich last week.