Lyles keeps 'cake and crown' in 200m victory at Zurich Diamond League

Rock star: Noah Lyles celebrates victory in the 200m in the Diamond League in Zurich (Fabrice COFFRINI)
Rock star: Noah Lyles celebrates victory in the 200m in the Diamond League in Zurich (Fabrice COFFRINI)

Triple world champion Noah Lyles scorched to victory in a high-quality 200m at the Diamond League meet in Zurich on Thursday, insisting no one would take his "cake and crown".

Lyles was hailed as a "rock star" by World Athletics president Sebastian Coe after winning golds in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay in the world championships in Budapest last week.

And the 26-year-old, whose victory in the Hungarian capital over the 200m was his third world title, was afforded a raucous reception from the 25,000-strong sell-out crowd at the Letzigrund Stadium.

Drawn in lane six, with Zharnel Hughes on his inside, and teenage teammate Erriyon Knighton and another American Kenny Bednarek on his outside, the American made no mistake around the bend and unfolded into a dominant home straight.

Lyles crossed the line in 19.80 seconds, with Knighton taking second in 19.87sec and Britain's Hughes third (19.94).

Canada's Olympic champion Andre De Grasse finished fifth in 20.26sec, behind Bednarek in fourth (19.98).

Lyles was relaxed after the victory, saying: "It is just a race, it is business as usual.

"Everybody wants to beat me and everybody wants the cake and the crown, but I am not giving it to them."

Conditions at the Letzigrund Stadum were a far cry from the hot, humid weather in Budapest, with a noticeable drop in temperatures.

"Today, we did not have perfect conditions, it was pretty cold. But a win is a win," Lyles said.

"Of course, a fast time is always wanted, but it has been a great season. And I guess winning three gold medals is better than getting the American record."

Lyles added that he was undecided over whether he would be going to the Diamond League finals in Eugene on September 17-18.

"I am not going to lie, I am pretty tired. It was only a short time after the World Championships," he said.

"If I will run in Eugene: we will see, we still have to make a decision."

It will be interesting to see what kind of reception Lyles might receive back in the United States given his comments criticising NBA stars for declaring themselves "world champions" for winning the elite basketball league.

American NBA stars were quick to rip Lyles on social media after he said he was offended when US sports league champions like those in the NBA declare themselves "world champions" after capturing a national crown without facing global rivals.