By Jonathan Gault
June 14, 2019
Editor’s note: On Sunday the adidas Boost Boston Games and adidas Boost Boston Back Bay Mile will take place on Boylston St – home to the finish line of the Boston Marathon. A schedule for the adidas Boost Boston Games which will be televised live on NBC from 4:30-6 pm ET is here. The mile schedule is here. Jonathan Gault talked to Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Noah Lyles, Ajee’ Wilson, and Robby Andrews at today’s pre-event presser. His article on Noah Lyles appears below. There are three other articles: a Miller-Uibo article is here, an Ajee’ Wilson article is here, and a Robby Andrews article is here.
BOSTON — Even after losing a Diamond League 200 meters for the first time ever in Rome last week (he was seven-for-seven to begin his career), Noah Lyles was his typical jovial self at today’s press conference for Sunday’s adidas Boost Boston Games. Yes, he got beat, but Lyles was still happy with the 19.72 he ran to Michael Norman‘s 19.70, pointing out that it’s basically where he left off the 2018 season (he ran 19.67 in the DL final in Zurich).
“It doesn’t hurt,” Lyles said. “It doesn’t feel great, but it’s just something you’ve gotten used to. As a pro, I feel that you have to be able to handle losses and wins. And I knew that I wasn’t going to win forever.”
Lyles, 21, is also acutely aware of the role he plays as one of the sport’s young stars. Lyles doesn’t want to just show up to races and win. He wants to elevate the sport, and knows that having a rival to push him like Norman is a good thing for track & field.
“I got more people messaging me that that was the greatest race they’ve seen in a long time rather than oh, you’re not winning anymore,” Lyles said. “Which was actually very satisfying to see that. Because every time I get on the track, I want to give people a show. So I’m glad that people are starting to enjoy the sport. I’ve seen tons of tweets out there like, oh, 2019, 2020 are going to be major for track and field. And I’m like yeah, I’d love to see that.”
Lyles’ rivalry with Norman is a friendly one. His rivalry with fellow American Christian Coleman, whom he beat in the Diamond League 100m opener in Shanghai in May? Not so much. After the race, Coleman and his girlfriend, University of Georgia sprinter Micaiah Ransby, fired off a few not-so-veiled shots at Lyles on Twitter. Lyles’ reaction?
“Some people just don’t like you,” Lyles said. “You can’t do nothing about it. I can’t do nothing about it. It just is what it is.”
Lyles also reaffirmed (for seemingly the millionth time) that he has no plans to run the 100 at USAs or Worlds this year. He said that for that to change, he would have to “drop a bomb” in the 100 meters. What exactly does that mean?
“If I ran 9.75 or something like that, it would be time for me and my coach to say all right, are we gonna change the plan up or are we going to keep it how it is?” Lyles said. “There’s nothing in the 200 that would solidify it. It would be things I do in the 100 that would be the game changer going forward.”
More from today’s press event:
Shaunae Miller-Uibo Say She’s In the Best Shape of Her Life, “I Just Feel A Whole Lot Stronger This Year.” In other news, Miller-Uibo declined to discuss what happened in the fight with Tori Bowie that led to Bowie’s exit from PURE Athletics.
Ajee’ Wilson plans to eventually move up to the 1500, perhaps as soon as next year US 1500 Olympic hopefuls, your nightmare may become reality in 2020.
Robby Andrews is trying to come back from hell but he’s not making any excuses, “There’s no real excuse for running 1:54.” Andrews who is coming back from Lyme disease and surgery was horrific earlier this week when he ran 1:54 for 800.