Noah Lyles, 26, as Michael Johnson's U.S. broke the record

Noah Lyles, 26, as Michael Johnson's U.S. broke the record

Noah Lyles knew he had run the best race of his life – and probably the best 200 meters any American had ever run

He went so far ahead of the other runners in Thursday night's final at the World

Athletics Championships that after crossing the finish line, he began to stare at his only true opponent: the clock.

But for painful moments, the on-field clock stubbornly showed Lyle's unofficial time of 19.32. The trail would excite any other runner in

the world, but it was around the same time that Michael Johnson ran the 200 meters at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. From then on, it seemed unattainable. So far.

Lyles, 25, stood with his hands on his hips, staring. He walked over to the clock at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore, talking to her.

I was saying give me some rest, you know?" He later laughed to reporters. "How will it show the same time, 19.32? Come on, change it."

He leaned towards her, wondering if his hard work would pay off. Liles set a summer goals record after winning a disappointing (for him)

bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. It all came together in Oregon, where Lyles got off to a great start to command a highly anticipated race.