LONDON: For a few fleeting minutes, US sprinter Noah Lyles thought he had broken the long-standing 200 meter world record at the Inspiration Games on Thursday.
Lyles, 22, is the 200m world champion and his time of 18.90 seconds would have smashed the 19.19 mark set by Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt in 2009.
But the headline time will not go into the history books after it was revealed he only ran 185 meters due to a blunder by the event organizers putting the starting line in the wrong place.
Lyles was racing alone against competitors simultaneously sprinting on tracks in Europe.
His staggering time was immediately challenged by commentators watching the event.
“You can’t be playing with my emotions like this....Got me in the wrong lane smh,” he tweeted. He later tweeted again to correct himself, saying he had in fact started on the wrong line.
The farcical ending to one of the headline races in the event will be an embarrassment for the organizers who were banking on showing the world that technology can make a major international athletics event possible despite the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic.