Noah Lyles talks world record goal as Michael Johnson drops into interview

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Noah Lyles said he planned to run 19.10 seconds in the 200m final at July’s world championships, which would have broken Usain Bolt‘s world record. He was plenty satisfied with clocking a personal-best 19.31 seconds to break Michael Johnson‘s American record, though.

Lyles reflected on worlds in Eugene, Oregon, in an interview for the monthly Olympic and Paralympic show “Chasing Gold: Paris 2024,” which debuts on NBC on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET (and will be available on Peacock starting Monday).

“I was planning to run 19.10,” Lyles said of a time that is nine hundredths faster than Bolt’s world record from the 2009 World Championships. “That’s what me and my therapist had in our hearts. I was very much on the idea of I want to give myself a goal to chase that’s so out there. Even if I don’t get to that goal, I’ll have obliterated whatever is behind me.”

Lyles won by a distant .46 of a second in an American medals sweep. He picked off Johnson’s American record, his famous 1996 Olympic gold-medal run in golden shoes, by one hundredth.

Johnson was a surprise drop-in to the “Chasing Gold” interview.

“I knew when he came off the curve that this was going to be special,” said Johnson, who was at Hayward Field that night commentating for the BBC. “When you think about Noah, you’re not thinking necessarily about American records, you think about world records. … I was thinking, is he on world record pace?”

In addition to Bolt’s record, Lyles had something else on his mind in the day leading up to the final: his celebration. In his room in Eugene, he practiced putting on a team USA jersey and tearing it from the chest.

“I didn’t want to rip it and get half-ripped, and here I am with a half-ripped jersey looking all weak on TV,” he joked.

Lyles finished his season by winning the Diamond League Final in Zurich, Switzerland, last week, completing an undefeated 200m campaign. In all, Lyles ran 19.67 or faster a total of seven times in 2022, and 19.52 or faster a total of three times, both the most for any sprinter in one year in history.

Next up: a bye into the August 2023 World Championships in Budapest.

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Paris 2024 Olympic marathon route unveiled

Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon
Paris 2024
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The 2024 Olympic marathon route will take runners from Paris to Versailles and back.

The route announcement was made on the 233rd anniversary of one of the early, significant events of the French Revolution: the Women’s March on Versailles — “to pay tribute to the thousands of women who started their march at city hall to Versailles to take up their grievances to the king and ask for bread,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said.

Last December, organizers announced the marathons will start at Hôtel de Ville (city hall, opposite Notre-Dame off the Seine River) and end at Les Invalides, a complex of museums and monuments one mile southeast of the Eiffel Tower.

On Wednesday, the rest of the route was unveiled — traversing the banks of the Seine west to the Palace of Versailles and then back east, passing the Eiffel Tower before the finish.

The men’s and women’s marathons will be on the last two days of the Games at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). It will be the first time that the women’s marathon is held on the last day of the Games after the men’s marathon traditionally occupied that slot.

A mass public marathon will also be held on the Olympic marathon route. The date has not been announced.

The full list of highlights among the marathon course:

• Hôtel de ville de Paris (start)
• Bourse de commerce
• Palais Brongniart
• Opéra Garnier
• Place Vendôme
• Jardin des Tuileries
• The Louvre
• Place de la Concorde
• The bridges of Paris
(Pont de l’Alma; Alexandre III;
Iéna; and more)
• Grand Palais
• Palais de Tokyo
• Jardins du Trocadéro
• Maison de la Radio
• Manufacture et Musées
nationaux de Sèvres
• Forêt domaniale
des Fausses-Reposes
• Monuments Pershing –
Lafayette
• Château de Versailles
• Forêt domaniale de Meudon
• Parc André Citroën
• Eiffel Tower
• Musée Rodin
• Esplanade des Invalides (finish)

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International Boxing Association lifts ban on Russia, Belarus

Boxing gloves
Getty
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The International Boxing Association (IBA) lifted its ban on amateur boxers from Russia and Belarus over the war in Ukraine that had been in place since early March.

“The IBA strongly believes that politics shouldn’t have any influence on sports,” the federation said in a press release. “Hence, all athletes should be given equal conditions.”

Most international sports federations banned athletes from Russia and Belarus indefinitely seven months ago, acting after an IOC recommendation. It is believed that the IBA is the first international federation in an Olympic sport to lift its ban.

The IOC has not officially changed its recommendation from last winter to exclude Russia and Belarus athletes “to protect the integrity of the events and the safety of the other participants.”

Last week, IOC President Thomas Bach said in an interview with an Italian newspaper that Russian athletes who do not endorse their country’s war in Ukraine could at some point be accepted back into international sports, competing under a neutral flag.

IBA, in lifting its ban, will also allow Russia and Belarus flags and national anthems.

“The time has now come to allow all the rest of the athletes of Russia and Belarus to participate in all the official competitions of their sports representing their countries,” IBA President Umar Kremlev, a Russian, said in a press release last week. “Both the IOC and the International Federations must protect all athletes, and there should be no discrimination based on nationality. It is the duty of all of us to keep sports and athletes away from politics.”

In 2019, the IOC stripped the IBA — then known as AIBA — of its Olympic recognition following an inquiry committee report into finance, governance, refereeing and judging. The IOC ran the Tokyo Olympic boxing competition.

The IBA will not run qualifying events for the 2024 Paris Games, but it does still hold world championships, the next being a men’s event in Uzbekistan next year.

Boxing, introduced on the Olympic program in 1904, was not included on the initial program for the 2028 Los Angeles Games but can still be added. The IBA must address concerns “around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes,” Bach said last December.

On Sept. 23, the IBA suspended Ukraine’s boxing federation, citing “government interference.” Ukraine boxers are still allowed to compete with their flag and anthem.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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