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“Struggling With the Flu”: Noah Lyles Absence Proves Beneficial as Rivals Kenny Bednarek and Zharnel Hughes Post Health Struggles at Diamond League 2023

Published 09/08/2023, 11:38 PM EDT

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The 2023 Brussels Diamond League, also known as the Allianz Memorial Van Damme, recently lit up the track and field world. Noah Lyles, who had demonstrated his exceptional talent at the Diamond League Zürich Weltkasse 2023, did not compete. While the absence of Noah Lyles was felt keenly by fans, new contenders shone brightly.

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Lyles, on the other hand, will be seen next at the Prefontaine Classic, the much-anticipated Diamond League Final. On September 8, 2023, the Brussels Diamond League 2023 saw the emergence of two new track and field contenders in the 200-meter event, Kenny Bednarek and Zharnel Hughes. Following the event, the two shared upsetting news on their health concerns.

Noah Lyles’ absence at the Brussels Diamond League proves beneficial


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In a recent post on X (formerly known as Twitter), Zharnel Hughes shared a concerning health issue. He posted two images from the race and wrote, “Have to be honest… I was struggling with the flu today. SO… 19.82 has made me VERY happy. Your support means the world!!! Thank you.” In response to Hughes’ tweet, Kenny Bednarek, also known as Kung Fu Kenny, wrote, “Me too. Got it yesterday. Seems to be going around.”

Hughes, displaying great camaraderie, responded, “Get better soon, man. It’s terrible!” This heartwarming exchange came after the two sprinters blazed the track at Brussels, leaving fans in awe of their sportsmanship and athletic prowess.


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Kenny Bednarek and Zharnel Hughes blaze the track

Kenny Bednarek clinched victory with an impressive season’s best time of 19.79 seconds, while Zharnel Hughes finished closely behind in 19.82 seconds. Canada’s Andre De Grasse secured the third spot with a time of 19.89 seconds.


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The race unfolded as a nail-biter, with Bednarek and Hughes fiercely competing neck and neck for most of the way. Bednarek’s final burst of speed ultimately secured him the well-deserved victory, providing clear evidence that both sprinters are currently in peak form.

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As fans eagerly anticipate the upcoming Prefontaine Classic, they also hope for a swift recovery for Bednarek and Hughes. They yearn to see these remarkable athletes race shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Lyles once more, in a thrilling display of speed, determination, and sportsmanship.

Watch this story: Most Decorated Olympic Athlete Who Broke Usain Bolt’s Record Goes Down Memory Lane of Her Glorious Career

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Written by:

Christaline Meyers


One take at a time

Christaline Meyers is a pro-writer for Essentially Sports. Having contributed to movies and web series, Christaline delved into sports journalism and like the puck on the ice, has been a force to be reckoned with in the US sports arena. Her experience in writing about the latest WSL event, the recent track and field record, and creative gymnastics routines, found her digging deeper into the minds of legends like Kelly Slater, Usain Bolt, and Simone Biles.
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Edited by:

Brandon Gabriel