A track glitch saw Noah Lyles fall short in his quest for victory in the 200m in the innovative Inspiration Games on Thursday .

The globe-spanning competition, pitching Europe against North America and the rest of the world, was the brainwave of organisers of the Zurich Diamond League, cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic

There was initial shock, and then frustration, for Lyles, the world 200m champion whose form on the track and bubbly personality has seen him hailed as a natural successor to Usain Bolt.

Running solo, the American clocked what seemed an unlikely, yet staggering, 18.90 seconds over the 200m.

“That cannot be right,” said athletics commentator Steve Cram as Lyles completed the race. “That cannot be right. 18.91 – that cannot be right. Can it?”

But it soon came to light that he had been given the wrong startline and ran just 185 metres of the race.

“You can’t be playing with my emotions like this.... got me in the wrong lane smh (shaking my head),” Lyles tweeted with an emoji of someone covering up their face.

The win eventually went to France’s Christophe Lemaitre, clocking 20.65 seconds while Netherlands’ Churandy Martina was awarded the second place, who completed the race in 20.81 seconds.

Watch the video here:


(with AFP inputs)