Feature24 Nov 2023

Focus on finalists: Noah Lyles


Noah Lyles

As the World Athletics Awards 2023 draws near, we’re shining a spotlight on the 10 finalists – five men and five women – for the World Athlete of the Year awards.

Today the focus is on US sprinter Noah Lyles.


In 2023, Noah Lyles cemented his place as one of the top sprinters of all time.

After winning the 200m at the previous two editions of the World Athletics Championships, the US 26-year-old not only retained his half-lap crown in Budapest but also added 100m and 4x100m titles to his haul, ending the championships as a six-time global gold medallist.

He maintained his position as world 200m leader for the sixth consecutive year and was undefeated in six 200m finals. Further proving his versatility, he also closed the season as the joint world leader in the 100m.

Lyles opened his campaign at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Boston, where he improved his PB to 6.51 to win the 60m final.

Outdoors, Lyles tested his early season form with some races in Florida and he made a statement with a 19.67 200m win at the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston. It was a time that only one other athlete – double world medallist Letsile Tebogo – would beat during the rest of the season.

Lyles then won the 100m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Paris and the 200m at the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold event in New York, before turning his attention to the US Championships, where he secured his spot to target a sprint double at the World Championships in Budapest by finishing third in the 100m.

The US record-holder improved his 200m world lead at the Diamond League meeting in London, clocking 19.47 for the third-fastest performance of his career in his final race ahead of the World Championships.

Once in Budapest, he first won the 100m in 9.83, a personal best that made him the joint world leader in that discipline. Five days later he completed the double, retaining the 200m crown in 19.52, and just one day after that he became a treble champion, running the anchor leg as USA regained the men’s 4x100m title.

He held up three fingers in celebration.

“This is the third gold for me here,” Lyles said. “It's sensational, amazing. You can't do better. It's out of control.”

With his performance in Budapest, Lyles became the first man in seven years to complete the sprint treble at a global championships.

He already knew he had made history after doing the double.

“It is a great feeling to know I did something not a lot of people have done,” Lyles said after his 200m triumph. “In my documentary I talked about wanting it to be done, being different from anybody else, and winning double golds was one of the things on my list. I wanted to show I am different. Today I came out and showed it. I am double champion.”

But Lyles didn’t stop there. Another sub-20 200m win followed at the Diamond League meeting in Zurich and he closed his campaign with a runner-up finish in the 100m at the Diamond League Final in Eugene, running 9.85.

"Yo I just realized 9.85 is my second fastest time ever in the 100m," he wrote on social media. "Next year going to be scary."


The World Athletes of the Year will be announced on World Athletics’ social media platforms on 11 December as part of the World Athletics Awards 2023 – and you and a friend can be part of the celebrations.

One lucky person and a companion will win a once-in-a-lifetime VIP trip to Monaco during the annual World Athletics Awards.

The winners of the fan VIP trip will get to spend three nights (9-11 December) in Monaco and meet the best athletes of 2023 in person. Flights, accommodation and evening meals will all be included.

Enter now