By Elliott Denman
EUGENE, OREGON -
Just as a reminder, we told you so.
Years and years ago.
So did John Moon, the famed Seton Hall University track coach.
Here's the story:
Back in the mid-1990s, Seton Hall coach Moon, himself a former sprints great, interviewed by this then-Asbury Park Press sports writer (yours truly) about the budding romance of his Seton Hall team members Kevin Lyles and Keisha Caine, Moon delivered a track quote for the ages.
"If and when these two get married, their children are likely to be very fast people," said Moon, in the story soon delivered to Asbury Park Press readers.
How right we were!
All these years later, Noah Lyles and Josephus Lyles are a lot more than just "very fast people."
Noah is already a two-time World Championships 200-meter winner. Josephus can be a medalist at these 2022 Worlds, too, if only they find a place for him on one of the Team USA relay units.
Now, fast forward.....very fast forward.
Noah Lyles had celebrated his 25th birthday on Monday by romping to an easy 200-meter first-round win in the 18th World Championships of Track and Field, hamming it up all the way to the finish line.
Three days later, Lyles was all-business, all-maturity. No hamming it this time. No joshing, no early celebrations.
And he thus showed the Hayward Field crowd - and a global TV audience - what he really could do at full-focus, full-throttle, full of the amazing velocity he's apparently been endowed with at birth. Yes, as predicted by his father's coach. As told to the Asbury Park Press.
He'd won at Worlds in Doha, Qatar, clocking 19.83
Noah Lyles' second sonsecutive World Championships win was a lot quicker.
IThis one took just 19.31 seconds, the fastest time ever recorded for the half-lap distance by an American, crossing the line 1/100th of a second faster than Michael Johnson's winning time at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Only two other men have ever run faster - Jamaicans Usain Bolt (19.19) in 2009 and Yohan Blake (19.26) in 2011.
How's this for a stat: Lyles' first 100 meters (out of the blocks) took 10.15 seconds, his second 100 just 9.16...
Bolt's world-record for the distance -under standard racing conditions - is .9.58. !!
;And Lyles' blazing performance launched a 1-2-3 Team USA sweep (replicatng the earlier sweep in the 100.)
Wisconsin's Kenny Bednarek claimed the sliver in 19.77, Florida's Erriyon Knighton the bronze in 19.80.
Bednarek is 23, Knighton just 18, a recent high school graduate and the fastest junior-age (sub-20) dasher in world history, yes faster even than the young Usain Bolt.
Liberia's Joseph Fahnbulleh - also the NCAA champion for the University of Florida, clocked in at 19.84; Dominican Republic's Alexander Ogando (19.84) and Trinidad and Tobago's Jereem Richards (20.08) to lead all the rest of the world.
"Today was my day, I did what I came here to do," Lyles, already draped in the gold medal, told the Hayward crowd in a celebratory post-race interview.
"At first I thought I was slow, then that time (19.31) popped up (on the big display screen) and I said 'wow.'
And "wow" said Hayward attendees, too.
Track and field celebrities have been in the stands, rejoicing in all the golden performance at these Worlds, since the meet began.
Tommy Smith and John Carlos, appropriately, were spotlighted guests for this night of the two 200 finals (men and women.)
It was 54 years ago that their podium stance at Mexico City after the 200 final - protesting injustices in their nation -were met with fierce, antagonistic reactions - and which kept on for years.
How times have changed - now Smith and Carlos are considered proud all-time icons of sports history.- and Olympic Hall of Famers.
Edwin Roberts was in the audience today, too. He's been a Philadelphian for years - and a top official at major meets for decades - but in 1964-68-72 he was a brilliant Olympic sprinter for Trinidad and Tobago. In 1964, he took a bronze in the 200 and another bronze in the 4x100 relay. He added a 200-meter fourth in '68,
So, your thoughts on this one, Edwin?
"Excellent, excellent, excellent, excellent."
For sure, for sure, for sure, for sure.