The 100 meters for men was a tremendous race, and the battle between Noah Lyles and Ronnie Baker were very close. Here is how I saw the races!
Noah Lyles and Ronnie Baker, photo by PhotoRun.net
How do you recover from a less than satisfactory start?
Well, you should ask Noah Lyles. Noah had adequate starts in round 1, and semi finals. In round 1, Noah ran a winded aided 9.92. In the semi finals, he ran a legal wind 9.89.
Ronnie Baker ran 10.00 in the first round, in a legal wind of 1.9 m/s. In the semi finals, Ronnie, who had wins in Eugene (9.77 wind aided) and Rome (9.92 legal wind), ran a 9.94, legal wind (1.4 m/s) in the semi finals. Both were ready to fly.
In the final, Ronnie Baker had a fine start, and was in control. Noah Lyles’ start was not one of his best, but, Lyles was able to overcome his start and, by thrirty meters, was in the hunt.
At sixty meters, Ronnie Baker looked very good and was moving well.
Noah Lyles, who has run a 19.69 for 200 meters (equals WL), and wind-aided 9.86 for the 100 meters in Gainesille (+4.1 m/s), ran 9.93 PB in Kingston, Jamaica on June 9.
What surprised this viewer is how Lyles willed himself into the catching Ronnie Baker near the finish. Noah Lyles won the 100 meter in 9.88, not only a PB, but equalling the world leader! Ronnie Baker ran 9.90 for second place. Kendell Williams took third in 10.00 (9.992) and Isiah Young 10.00 (9.998) in fourth. Cameron Burrell was fifth in 10.04 and Jeff Demps was sixth in 10.13.
In speaking with Noah Lyles’ coach, Lance Brauman, post race, I asked him about how Noah recovered from his less than spectacular start? “Well Noah, has a natural composure. We also discuss staying with the race plan, which he did.”
The race was between Ronnie Baker and Noah Lyles. Baker put pressure on Lyles, and the young athlete could have given up, but, instead, he stayed focused, and battled back into the race and won his first US Outdoor title at 100 meters.
I must say, I did enjoy the special dance that Noah Lyles did after his win. That and his vertical leap onto the medal stand were quite impressive.