Continental champion, Diamond Trophy winner and a proposed heir to Usain Bolt’s throne, Noah Lyles stands out from the rest in more ways than one.
His hugely impressive 19.65 PB for 200m, along with his eccentric antics on and off the track have turned the 21-year-old into the emerging star within the sport.
Those who follow athletics will know this. Naturally, since the great Usain Bolt retired, the sport has kept a wide eye on all young athletes with the potential to take his place.
While internally, Noah has become one to depend on, it is ultimately too early to tell what the so-called ‘outside world’ will make of him. This will also depend on how he performs at major championships over the next couple of years.
That said, Isaac Makwala became one of the most memorable names from London 2017 despite not winning, because of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding his lone time trial and ‘push up’ celebration.
But if Lyles continues to improve on the track and entertain people off it, then the sport will certainly be in a good spot to see if it really has a new heir.
He has made a hugely impressive mark in a short space of time and was easily the best in his 200m field throughout the season.
Even the absence of Andre De Grasse has no bearing on Lyles’ dominance, as the times he consistently managed to run were surely enough for him to have stood out whether the Canadian was fit or not.
Unlike some other contenders in the list however, Lyles has still got a long way to go until he can even think about challenging for any world records.
His 19.65 time in the Diamond League was impressive though and could bring the sprinting world into a new era, avoiding the period of comparably pedestrian 200m times at the turn of the millennium.
With world silver medalist Christian Coleman seemingly back in top form and De Grasse still to return, there’s potential for exciting new clashes we haven’t really seen before.
But undoubtedly Noah Lyles deserves to stand on his own as one of – if not the most exciting talent in the sport.
If all that isn’t enough, he’s shone off the field this year too.
Noah officially released his first song, after impressing fans with a rap during a pre-Diamond League press conference in Birmingham.