For a brief moment, it certainly looked like American sprinter Noah Lyles had made history at the 2020 Inspiration Games. His time in the 200 meter race was 18.90 seconds, a full 0.21 seconds faster than the world record that sprinting legend Usain Bolt set at the World Championships in 2009, where he'd surpassed his own previous world record set in 2008 by 0.11 seconds.
But even before the truth fully came out, the result looked too good to be true for Lyles. Broadcaster Steve Cram, who set a few records himself in the 1980s, was heard incredulously saying, "That cannot be right! That cannot be right!" after it went down.
Cram wound up being correct as it turned out that Lyles was told to line up in the wrong track lane. The mistake gave him the edge to become a temporary world record holder, but only because it cut the required distance he needed to run by a full 15 meters. This issue was noted by French coach and analyst PJ Vazel, who also seemed to point out that this wasn't Lyles' fault.
To Lyles' credit, the 22-year-old has established himself as a runner with the potential to compete with the very best in the sport, and even challenge Bolt's records. He is the reigning world champion in the 200 meter race and the fourth-fastest man in history at that distance with a personal best of 19.50 seconds. But he was unable to add to his resume of wins as the mistake took him out of the results. French sprinter Christophe Lemaitre, who was competing remotely in Switzerland, was given the win with a time of 20.65 seconds.