Reigning 200m world champion Noah Lyles steps up his campaign for a sprint double at this year’s World Championship in Budapest when he tackles the 100m at the US trials in Eugene, Oregon.
With his 200m dialled in, Lyles said, he’s finally had the luxury of honing his 100m, and he’s not just doing it for a change of pace.
“I just decided I wanted to win the 100 along with the 200,” he said Wednesday on the eve of the US athletics championships, the selection meeting for the World Championships in Budapest.
“I mean, we haven’t had a doubler since (Usain) Bolt, and it’s about time we have one -- why not me?”
Jamaican great Bolt was the last man to complete a 100-200 world championships double, something he did in 2009, 2013 and 2015.
Lyles, who won 200m world titles in 2019 and 2022, said he’s now confident enough in his title defence to tackle the 100 as well -- something he’d backed off from before.
“We tried to do the double in 2021 and I call it my worst year ever, it was a really rough year, we never really got the timing right,” Lyles said.
In 2022, Lyles added, he decided a double attempt posed too much risk to what he wanted to accomplish in the 200m.
“And after last year, having such a dominant reign and hold on the 200, it’s like, OK, now we have the comfortability to go and really put in what we need to for the 100.”
Lyles has been under 10 seconds in all five of his 100m races this year, including a victory at the Paris Diamond League last month.
“We’ve really been honing on that absolute speed top end, running the drive phase, really working in that 10 to 20 (meter) area,” Lyles said. “My coach is like, you’ve got to get nasty in here, because that’s where I’m going to make up the biggest difference.”
Lyles, who can skip the 200m at the US trials since he has a bye to defend that title, will launch his 100m bid on Thursday.
His task may be made a bit easier by the fact that men’s 100m world champion Fred Kerley will focus on qualifying in the 200m.
Marvin Bracy-Williams and Trayvon Bromell, who finished second and third behind Kerley at the World Championships on the same Hayward Field track in Eugene last year, are set to challenge him, as is veteran Christian Coleman.
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