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Debate

Noah Lyles pulls out due to a hurricane—legit reason or just an excuse?

With nearly 15 days left until the Paris Olympics, Noah Lyles isn’t taking any chances on his quest for gold. The reigning triple world champion in the 200m has decided to sit out the Monaco Diamond League, where he was set to tear up the track. This comes as a surprise to many, given Monaco’s iconic status and Lyles’ fondness for the event and the city itself.

Chris Chavez shared a statement by Lyles on X where he expressed his regret over missing out on one of his favorite meets, highlighting Monaco as a cherished stop in his career’s journey. Noah Lyles said, “I’m sorry to announce that I’ve withdrawn from this Friday’s Meeting Herculis EBS in Monaco. The meet is one of my favorites to compete in, and Monaco is one of my favorite places that my career has taken me to.”

His decision, however, stems from a meticulous strategy crafted with his coach and team. Following a successful showing at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, where he undoubtedly left his mark, Lyles aims to optimize his preparations for Paris. This involves an additional week of focused training at his base in Florida before heading to Europe.

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While most fans understand and support his decision to prioritize peak performance at the Olympics, speculation inevitably buzzes among track and field enthusiasts. Some playful theories surfaced on social media, with fans teasing that Lyles might have caught wind of the formidable competition awaiting him in Paris.

One fan humorously quipped, “He saw Kishane Thompson and said he better come up with something quickly for Paris.” While another reckoned he caught wind of the Jamaican whirlwind, Kishane, who has been making waves globally as the current 100-meter world leader, said, “The Ark get shook by Hurricane Kishane and has decided to stay anchored rather than set sail.” Yet another fan humorously suggested, “He saw Kishane’s performances and decided to hit the drawing board again 😂🤣.”

Noah Lyles’ matchup against Botswanan star Letsile Tebogo at the Monaco Diamond League was highly anticipated, but both have felt the heat from Kishane Thompson. Amidst the playful banter, it’s crucial to note that Kishane Thompson tops the 100m rankings in 2024 with 9.77, while Noah Lyles dominates the 200m with a world lead time of 19.53. As excitement builds for Paris, let’s look at Thompson’s recent races that fans speculate influenced Lyles’ prep decision.

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Kishane Thompson, the top challenger to Noah Lyles at the Paris Olympics ?

The Gyulai István Memorial in Hungary on July 9, 2024, was ablaze with thrilling races, none more captivating than Kishane Thompson’s dominance in the 100 meters. As the current world leader in the event, Thompson fended off challenges from Letsile Tebogo of Botswana and others. Despite a slight headwind of -0.6 meters per second, Thompson blazed through the finish line in 9.91 seconds, reaffirming his status as the one to beat heading into the Paris Olympics later this month.

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In a display of strategic brilliance, Thompson managed to check his surroundings in the final stretch, glancing left and right without sacrificing his speed. This move not only underscored his confidence but also highlighted his tactical awareness on the track. Meanwhile, Noah Lyles, currently ranked fourth in the men’s 100 meters with a time of 9.83 seconds from the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, watches the competition intensify.

As we look ahead to the epic showdown brewing at the Paris Olympics, the competition between Noah Lyles and Kishane Thompson is definitely heating up. Could Lyles’ decision to skip the Monaco Diamond League be a strategic move in response to Thompson’s impressive performances? Share your thoughts in the comments below!