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Noah Lyles has detailed and scary plans for world championships

Lyles shows out in front of Bolt
With Usain Bolt looking on, U.S. track star Noah Lyles delivers a stunning performance. Watch this and more in 'Untitled: The Noah Lyles Project' on Peacock on August 18.

Noah Lyles is meticulously preparing for what will be the busiest world championships of his track career.

Before going to Budapest for worlds that start next week, Lyles will visit his 16-year-old nail technician in Clermont, Florida, for a unique design.

Once in Hungary, he plans to unveil an aerodynamic hairstyle and then a special post-race celebration with friends and family.

Part one of his docuseries, “Untitled: The Noah Lyles Project,” premieres on Peacock on Aug. 18, the day before worlds start.

If all goes to plan, Lyles will spend more time in the spotlight at one track meet than ever before. That’s just how the man they call “Noah Styles” likes it.

Lyles will bid to become the third person to win three consecutive world 200m titles after Allyson Felix and Usain Bolt (who four-peated).

But first, he will race the 100m at a global championship for the first time. Then after the 200m, he is likely to be part of the U.S. men’s 4x100m relay. That’s seven or eight races in eight days.

What would be a successful trip?

“There is what I will accept, and then there’s what my greatest expectation is,” he said. “What I will accept is grabbing a medal in the 100m, whatever color, and winning the 200m. My greatest aspiration is that I will grab three golds, gain a world record in the 200m.”

Lyles wasn’t so confident going into his last pre-worlds race two weeks ago. His training times in muggy Central Florida were not, as he likes to say, “Noah approved.”

He then flew to a meet in London, where he met his coach, Lance Brauman, who had gone to Europe earlier with other sprinters.

Lyles expressed to Brauman his discouragement with recent practices. Brauman allayed him and predicted that he would run 19.5 seconds at the meet.

Lyles, 26, had been that fast before a global championship just once in his career. So he was skeptical, but he trusted his coach of seven years.

“That put me in the right headspace,” he said.

Lyles didn’t run 19.5. He ran 19.47, holding off 20-year-old Letsile Tebogo of Botswana by three hundredths to extend an unbeaten streak since his Olympic bronze.

Last year, Lyles went into worlds with a best 200m time that season of 19.61. Then he won worlds in 19.31, breaking Michael Johnson’s American record.

If Lyles beats his season’s best time by three tenths again at this year’s worlds, he will break Bolt’s world record of 19.19.

“Me and coach have looked at each other quite often [this season] and said, ‘Yeah, this is getting real scary,’” Lyles said.

But he knows the last two years are not apples to apples, especially with adding the 100m to his plate this year.

At July’s USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, Lyles grabbed the last spot on the 100m team, returning from a COVID-19 bout that cost him a week of training.

He will be seeded between 10th and 15th in the world championships 100m field by best time this year (9.94 seconds). The world’s fastest 100m this year, 9.83 by Zharnel Hughes of Great Britain, is the slowest going into a global championship in a decade.

“In the public’s eye, there is not a big favorite,” Lyles said. “In my eyes, this is the perfect race for me to win.”