Michael Johnson's column: Noah Lyles' bold statements cause pressure - but it motivates him

Sketch of Michael Johnson's column

place: Budapest Dates: Aug 19-27
coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and the BBC Sport website and app; Listen to BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sounds; Live text in the evening sessions.

Michael Johnson’s column

It was hard to imagine a scenario where Noah Lyles didn’t win 200m gold He completed his double sprint in the world championship.

One of the things that makes the American unique is that he talks about a big game, but at the same time feels comfortable with the pressure that comes with that.

He’s not ashamed of it and I think Lyles does it because it motivates him.

I’d like to know, because I was the same way.

Michael Johnson’s column

I wanted to be a favorite. I wanted to be the one making bold statements about what I wanted to do. I believed in my talent. I think that’s how Lyles sees it, too.

26-year-old, who won it First world title in the 100-meter race Last week, he made bold statements because he wants the focus to be on him. He said he would win three gold medals in Budapest and even break the world record.

As a result, he knows he has to do better, which makes him perform even better.

For others, this can lead to much worse performance. But this is where it’s important to know yourself as an athlete and what you need to do to perform at your best. Lyles found out.

The key to winning many titles is the ability to maintain a high level of performance. It’s a question of whether you can continually get the best out of yourself and keep pushing the bar higher and higher.

Lyles is still motivated. He loves being the star and getting attention – and that will keep pushing him.

Let’s also not forget that Lyles is not an Olympic champion. He had to settle for a 200m bronze behind Andre de Grasse and Kenny Bednarek at the Tokyo Games. Winning that gold next year still motivates him.

Michael Johnson’s column

He has now also shown that he is a favorite in the 100m, so there is no reason he can’t win both races at Paris 2024.

Hughes is right to be happy but he is interested in Usher Smith.

Great Britain’s Zarnell Hughes has every reason to be happy with his performance at these championships after claiming his first world medal, a bronze in the 100m.

But I think he missed an opportunity in the 200m. Behind Lyles the times were not far off.

And while Hughes will be pleased with his performance in these tournaments, he must ensure he avoids complacency if he is to continue winning medals.

The 28-year-old has to keep raising his game. He has shown that he has the capacity for a challenge.

It’s a similar scenario for team mate Daryl Nita, who has had a great season.

After losing the 100-meter final, she set two personal bests during the 200-meter competition. And she will have to keep pushing if she is to continue making it to the finals, and even competing for medals.

Dinah Asher Smith has to find out what’s going on.

The former 200m champion’s performance here was very disappointing, and her lack of ability to articulate what the problem was is also worrying.

But at the same time, it is the type that does not reveal much.

Michael Johnson’s column

Asher Smith has always kept things internal. I think that’s how she protected herself early in her career. She knows how to handle pressure and expectations better.

Michael Johnson’s column

It’s good when you’re winning medals, but when you’re performing poorly it becomes an issue because you have fans who want to know what’s going on. What you’re telling them is that you don’t fully know yourself.

Michael Johnson’s column

In the women’s 200m final, I thought there might be a chance that Gabby Thomas could challenge Sherika Jackson, given the American’s fastest time this year.

Jackson was clearly disappointed after his second-place finish in the 100m. She wanted to win that gold and thought this was her year.

Jamaican athletes generally tend not to show many signs of stress before a race. What was remarkable about Jackson when she came out to run the 100m was that she looked so serious.

Maybe she was a little tight in the 100m sprint, which led to this poor performance. And on Friday, she managed to put that behind her, ran the second fastest 200m ever, and won the gold medal she really wanted.

Michael Johnson’s column

If I had to pick my favorite sprint race in Budapest, it would be the women’s 100m. This was the player we all thought would be the best, whoever won, and the final did not disappoint.

For Shakari Richardson to win the gold in this way was unbelievable.

The 23-year-old, who has never competed in a major tournament, has a huge personality and high profile stature. People have been talking about it for years because of its huge potential. She almost made it to the final – only to win it in tournament record time.

Michael Johnson’s column

Michael Johnson was speaking to BBC Sport’s Harry Paul.

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