Lyles storms to Paris 200m win

Noah Lyles competes in mens 200m on July 05, 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland. (Photo by Marco Mantovani/Getty Images)
Noah Lyles competes in mens 200m on July 05, 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland. (Photo by Marco Mantovani/Getty Images)

Paris - Noah Lyles scorched to a dominant victory in the 200m at Saturday's Diamond League meet in Paris and immediately warned he was nowhere near his peak.

In a stark warning shot to pretenders to the crown of the half-lap sprint ahead of the September 29-October 6 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Lyles clocked 19.65 seconds and looked every part a suitable replacement for the now-retired Usain Bolt.

"I'm not even close to peaking right now," the buoyant 22-year-old said.

"I'm not at 100 percent yet because I'm still working towards the world champs."

But he played down a pitch at Bolt's world record of 19.19 set almost 10 years ago to the day at the Berlin world championships.

"Looking to Doha, it's not about going after Bolt's record or anything like that," he said.

"But when we get there we're willing to go after any record."

To demonstrate his dominance in the race, second place was taken by Turkey's current world and European champion Ramil Guliyev, well off the pace in 20.01.

The women's 100m was won by Jamaica's Elaine Thompson, the reigning Olympic double sprint champion, in 10.98.

There was no Dina Asher-Smith, the in-form Briton instead in action at her home championships.

Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou claimed second in 11.13, two-hundredths ahead of Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers.

Home hopes of Renaud Lavillenie nailing a seventh Diamond League victory on French soil in the men's pole vault didn't last long as he bailed out with a best of 5.60m.

It was instead American Sam Kendricks who stole the limelight. 

The defending Charlety winner, who nailed the second highest outdoor pole vault in the history of the men's competition (behind Sergey Bubka), at July's US championships thanks to a vault of 6.06m, won with a meeting record of 6.00m.

Back on the track, Norway's Karsten Warholm, who claimed a shock world 400m hurdles gold at the world champs in London two years ago, has already claimed the European record this season, clocking 47.33 in Oslo before reducing it further to 47.12, the best time in the world, in London last month.

He gave it his best shot in Paris, but tied up slightly over the last two hurdles to time a winning 47.26 in his bid to go one better, still managing to finish more than one second ahead of France's Ludvy Vaillant.

"I've been very consistent and hitting good times," said Warholm, referencing what promises to be a very tasty match-up with closest rivals Rai Benjamin and Abderrahman Samba at the worlds.

"This year the three best people haven't met yet so that's why I get to win by so much at meets like this, but we're all trying to get the work in to be in peak form for Doha."

Warholm's compatriots Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen had to be content with third and fourth in a high-quality men's 1 500m won by Ronald Musagala in an Ugandan national record of 3:30.58.

Other world champions who produced the goods in the French capital included Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas, who won the women's triple jump with a best of 15.05m, and New Zealand's Tomas Walsh, who managed a meet record and season's best of 22.44m to win the shot put.

World decathlon record holder Kevin Mayer pleased his home crowd by winning a triathlon, setting a massive personal record of 17.08m in the shot put before going out to 7.50m in the long jump and concluding his evening with 13.55 - another personal best - in the 110m hurdles.

Two-time Olympic silver medallist Will Claye upstaged US team-mate Christian Taylor by soaring out past the 18-metre mark in the triple jump, winning a tight contest with a best of 18.06.

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