Noah Lyles ended his 100m breakout season on a high, battling Su Bingtian of China and Team Asia-Pacific to add the IAAF Continental Cup title to his growing collection of accolades.
Su, who has twice equalled the Asian record of 9.91 this season and more recently clocked 9.92 to take the Asian Games title, was out quickest, wrestling firm control of the race over the first forty metres. Powering through the midway point, Su’s fierce determination was on full display as he maintained his lead until Lyles, at 21 eight years his junior, found another gear.
Propelled by his superior closing speed --Lyles won a second successive Diamond League 200m title in Zurich last weekend-- the US 100m champion caught and then passed Su over his final five strides, clocking 10.01 to Su’s 10.03.
“It was a great season,” said Lyles, who improved his lifetime bests to 9.88 in the 100m and 19.65 over the half lap. “Health has been the key. Last year I had to cope with an injury in the middle of the season and it brings happiness to my heart that I came all the way to the end here without breaking something.
“I’m excited to get stronger and older as a person next year,” he added, explaining that harder work in the weight room awaits. “The stronger I get, the closer I’ll get to the 9.8 and 9.7 barriers.”
African champion Akani Simbine was third in 10.11 with Team Europe's Jak Ali Harvey fourth in 10.19. Arthur Cisse of Ivory Coast, fifth in 10.23, teamed with Simbine to push Africa into a tie for first in the event victory with Asia-Pacific.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF