July 6, 2019 / 4:06 PM / 12 days ago

Athletics: Lyles to race 100m in Monaco, then decide world plans

(Reuters) - There’s more to come from Noah Lyles before the American completes his European tour.

Athletics - Diamond League - Lausanne - Stade de la Pontaise, Lausanne, Switzerland - July 5, 2019 Noah Lyles of the U.S. celebrates after winning the Men's 200m REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The newly minted fourth fastest 200m runner of all-time is still planning to run a 100m at the Monaco Diamond League meeting on July 12, his manager said on Saturday.

The race is important because after it Lyles and his coach will make a final decision on whether the sprint sensation runs just the 200m or adds the 100m to his plans for the July 25-28 U.S. championships/world trials in Des Moines, Iowa, Mark Wetmore told Reuters in an email.

The fastest 200m runner in seven years after his spectacular 19.50 seconds clocking at Lausanne on Friday, Lyles is also the joint second quickest in the world for 100m this year at 9.86.

While many are encouraging the 21-year-old to stick with his best race at the trials and first world athletics championships in Doha in late September, four-times Olympic sprint medallist Ato Boldon is urging Lyles to do both events.

“There’s no doubt in my mind about it,” Boldon, now an NBC analyst and sprint coach, said on Twitter shortly after Friday’s 200m.

“@LylesNoah should be doubling at 100/200m at USA nationals and at worlds. Accept the challenge of the 100m. The 200m is already yours in Doha.”

Not so fast, said Lyles whose time was the eighth fastest ever with only world record holder Usain Bolt (19.19), fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake (19.26) and American Michael Johnson (19.32) having run faster.

“The Gold isn’t mine till I physically hold it my hands,” the sprinter responded on Twitter early on Saturday.

American Christian Coleman, the year’s fastest 100m runner, has decided to double at the U.S. trials and will run a 200m in Budapest on Tuesday. He ranks ninth fastest for the season at 19.97 seconds.

But American Michael Norman, the only man to defeat Lyles at 200m in three years, will not chase the 200m at the U.S. meeting although he has the year’s second fastest time.

Norman, the 2019 leader at 400m, has said he will stick with the longer race at Des Moines because a 200-400 double would be impractical schedule-wise.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina, editing by Ed Osmond

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