An ambitious attempt to held a high-tech athletics meeting with runners in different stadiums ran into problems on Thursday when world champion Noah Lyles ran too short a distance in the 200 metres event.

Lyles, running in Florida, completed the race at the Inspiration Games in an eye-watering 18.90 seconds – which would have smashed Usain Bolt’s world record of 19.19 seconds and his own personal best time of 19.50. But, after initial confusion, his official result read “shorter distance” and it appeared that the American had started from the wrong line. Swiss television said he had only run 185 metres.

The race was won by Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre, running in Zurich, in 19.80 seconds, one hundredth of a second ahead of Dutchman Churandy Martina, who was running in the Netherlands.

The meeting was the Zurich Weltklasse’s answer to the coronavirus which has prevented…

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