Noah Lyles – top five facts to know about the anime loving American sprint specialist

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Is Noah Lyles faster than Usain Bolt? Did Noah Lyles break the 200m world record? What is Noah Lyle’s personal best? All the answers are here.

Noah Lyles is one of the most exciting talents to emerge in athletics since Rio 2016.

The American sprinter has won titles in the 100m and is also the reigning world champion in the 200m.

Lyles is just shy of six foot tall (around 180cm) and trains in Florida.

He has wide-ranging interests away from the track, including anime and a music career. Lyles has also been frank about his mental health journey on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Here’s the top five facts to know about Noah Lyles.

Athletes to Watch - Tokyo 2020 | Noah Lyles
08:14

He has the speed, the personality and the charm to be the next big sprinter in athletics history, and he is trying to be great, not just good. Tokyo is the beginning of something special.

Noah Lyles: World champion and 185m world record shock

Noah Lyles had an epic 2019 season, including overpowering Justin Gatlin to win the 100m Diamond League in Zurich.

Choosing to concentrate on the 200m in Doha he became world champion.

Along with his US team mates, Lyles won the 4x100m relay world title as well and they also look to be favourites for the win at the Olympics too.

Lyles’ great form has continued through 2020 and 2021 despite the restrictions to racing due to the pandemic.

He shocked himself and the athletics world for a brief moment in July 2020 when it appeared he had broken Usain Bolt’s long-standing world record of 19.19 in the 200m. But it turned out that Lyles had actually run 185m due to an organiser error at the Inspiration Games in Zurich in which Lyles was placed in the wrong lane.

Noah Lyles: Honest and open about mental health issues

With his sporting career seemingly on an upward trajectory, Lyles started to find the mental toll too much.

“After world champs – even before the World Championships last year – I was just in Europe for so long and I was getting really homesick,” the athlete explained in an Instagram Live with the Olympic Channel.

“And to be honest I thought about going home so many times because I was getting really depressed, and I was getting into that mindset of I barely want to even train anymore.”

"My mum was like, ‘I think it’s time for you to go on antidepressants’, and I was like, ‘Yeah, I think you’re right'.”

Lyles is upfront about the benefits of losing too.

“When you take an ‘L’, a lot of people can get really discouraged in losing. But losing is a great teacher.”

Noah Lyles: Music career

Away from the track, Noah Lyles has many interests including music.

Under his pseudonym, Nojo18 he’s released music that is available on streaming sites.

He also performed his most popular track ‘Souvenir’ to a stadium of athletics fans.

Noah was also joined on stage by US pole vaulter Sandi Morris who also features on the track along with musician Baba Shrimps.

Gold medalist Noah Lyles of the United States stands on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's 200 metres final during day six of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on October 02, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Gold medalist Noah Lyles of the United States stands on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's 200 metres final during day six of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on October 02, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
2019 Getty Images

Noah Lyles: My favourite anime and manga

Noah Lyles stepped out onto the track at Doha 2019 with silver hair in tribute to one of the most popular anime characters: Goku from Dragon Ball Z.

"In Dragon Ball Z, Goku's final stage, or form, is Ultra Instinct,” Lyles said to the Washington Post.

“His hair turns silver/grey. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to make the team. I'm in my highest state."

Lyles is a huge fan of both manga (comic books) and anime (animation).

“My favourite anime is Full Metal Alchemist. There are two versions – Full Metal Alchemist and Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. I truthfully like both versions for different reasons, but I usually watch Brotherhood more,” Lyles said on an Instagram Live with US swimmer Katie Ledecky.

"And then my favourite manga is called Cage of Eden. It was one of the first long mangas I ever read. And I got like truly into the world.

"I was staying up late – and this is when I was in middle school – and I'm reading this from 9pm to 3am when I was supposed to be sleeping."

Noah Lyles: Vital information

Height: 5’11 (180cm)

Weight: 154 pounds (70kg)

Star sign: Cancer

Olympic experience: Youth Olympic, Nanjing 2014, gold (200m)

Personal best 100m: 9.86s

Personal best 200m: 19.50s

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(Source: Team USA / stats correct as of June 2021)