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Noah Lyles Sparks Track and Field Nostalgia After Getting Spotted With Injury Marred Star Player

Published 05/14/2024, 11:35 AM EDT

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A few weeks ago at the Glasgow Indoor, Noah Lyles further cemented his reputation by claiming his first World Indoor silver in both the individual and relay events. Lyles is now all set to compete in the Paris Games, with the Olympic trials being his next springboard. Lyles seems to be laser focused and is gearing up in full swing, recently shared a glimpse of his outdoor training on Instagram, originally posted by his training partner, 3x Paralympic gold medalist Nick Mayhugh.

Joining this duo is Adidas pro Jaylen Slade, adding to the formidable training team. Slade was an underrated gem back in 2021 and this year will mark his maiden voyage since 2022. Injury-plagued star player Slade, along with Lyles, is aiming to secure a berth in the Paris Olympics 2024 in the sprinting events. In the coming days, both athletes will be striving to etch their names on the track and field prestigious platform.

Noah Lyles seen practicing with the 2021 breakout sprinter

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In a recent tweet on X, Track and Field Gazette shared a 15 seconds clip, captioning it, Jaylen Slade & Noah Lyles 🇺🇸 doing block starts in training.” Jaylen Slade is speculated to compete for the first time since 2022 at the Adidas Atlanta City Games, where he’ll run the 100m. The account also added, He [Slade] ran 10.09s and 20.20s as a 17-year-old in 2021.” This is nostalgic for followers of the track and field world because Noah Lyles and Jaylen Slade have always had a strong partnership. After qualifying to the Olympics earlier this year, Noah Lyles also practiced with Nick Mayhugh, a Paralympic star and Adidas pro Jaylen Slade. Mayhugh even captioned a post about the practice day, “IRON SHARPENS IRON.”

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Noah Lyles has qualified for Paris Games and is aiming at quadruple medals, and now he’s seen practicing with Slade. The fact that he broke Noah Lyles’ high school 200m indoor record too is also saying something. While most viewed the two training together as passing the torch from one generation to another, others have pointed out that there may be some friendly rivalry, drawing comparisons to Lyles’ past tension with Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse. Slade has also said,We’re going to try to attempt 100, but our goal is really based off of 200. In the 100 [this season], we hope to consistently run 10.2 and lower. In the 200, we’re definitely trying to break the national record [20.09, set by Lyles at the 2016 OT]. Though there has been a significant speculation of “hate”, the duo seem to get along quite well. Especially as both of them work closely with Adidas. 

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Jaylen Slade ready to sprint back onto the field after injury

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Previously, Jaylen Slade had also made his intentions clear about the Paris 2024 Games. During the 2021 Games, his coach Dwight Thomas said, The goal is to get to the Olympic Trials, just to get there and participate, and whatever happens, whatever transpires, let it be,” adding,“There’s no Junior Championships this year. By the time the next Olympics come around in 2024 he’ll be 21. So the goal is just to get his feet wet, just to get a chance to compete with some of the people he looks up to.” He was hurt for a while at the trials, but he’s back now, with a flourish.

Recently, Adidas Atlanta City Games released their list of participating sprinters. Amongst them, representing the USA, is Jaylen Slade at the 100m Men’s entries. His professional contract with Adidas consists of a five-year deal. This will cover the next two World Championships, the 2024 Olympics, and another World Championship. If Noah Lyles and Jaylen Slade get a chance to go head-to-head, it will definitely be a spectacle to watch. 

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Written by:

Anchal Ahuja

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Anchal Ahuja is a senior Olympic Sports Writer at EssentiallySports. With over 5 years of experience in journalism, Anchal decided to pursue her love for sports and cover various pathways of the Olympics. She actively covers swimming, track and field, and gymnastics.
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Edited by:

Himanshu Sridhar