February 20, 2019 / 9:56 PM / 2 months ago

Athletics: Lyles drops plans for 100m bid at world championships

American track and field sprinter Noah Lyles trains at the National Training Center in Clermont, Florida, U.S., February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Phelan Ebenhack

CLERMONT, Florida (Reuters) - American sprinter Noah Lyles is dropping plans for a sprint double at September’s world championships in Doha and will focus only on the 200 meters, he told Reuters.

For months Lyles had talked about going for gold in both the 100 and 200 meters in his first world championships.

But the emphasis now will be on his best event, the twice Diamond League 200m champion said in an interview.

“My coach has now come to the conclusion that he believes that I should now gain my first gold (at the world championships) before going into the Olympics and trying to double,” Lyles said.

“And I agree with him. If I get in that final, I know I can win that 200.”

The 21-year-old still left the door slightly ajar for doubling.

“If something happens and we are doing really well and training has proven that I can handle six rounds (three each in the 100 and 200m), then maybe we will,” Lyles said. “But as it stands now, the 200 is the goal.”

The final decision will come before the U.S. trials in late July, his coach, Lance Brauman, told Reuters.

Lyles has not lost a race in the 200m since 2016, but there is work to be done in the 100m, especially on his start where Christian Coleman and Ronnie Baker are America’s fastest.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Clermont, Florida, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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