Berliner Tageblatt - World champ Lyles bouncing back from Covid bout

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World champ Lyles bouncing back from Covid bout
World champ Lyles bouncing back from Covid bout / Photo: © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP

World champ Lyles bouncing back from Covid bout

World 200m champion Noah Lyles clocked 19.95sec to top the qualifying times at the US trials on Saturday, and said he was rebounding nicely from a bout with Covid.

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Lyles revealed he learned after his race win in New York in 19.61sec on June 12 that he had coronavirus.

He said he'd tested negative before travelling to New York and put the chills he'd felt during the meeting down to fluctuating temperatures on a sometimes cloudy day.

It wasn't until after the race he realized his muscle soreness and fatigue were symptoms of illness.

He missed about five days of training, but said he didn't think that would be much of a hiccup.

"To be honest I'm so in shape I'm not too worried about it," Lyles said.

"I'm hoping for a Devon Effect -- you know, catch Covid, run third best time ever ...." added Lyles, a reference to American Devon Allen's scorching 110m hurdles win in 12.84sec in New York.

Lyles has a bye into worlds as the reigning champion. He said he planned to run through Sunday's final this weekend, depending on how his body responds to the rounds.

"Me and my coach are taking it race by race," Lyles said. "He says if anything is looking abnormal we're pulling out. I said I'll make that deal with you because I want to feel the best when I go to Worlds."

On Saturday he said it was mission accomplished with a sub-20 first round.

"Got my first part of the puzzle down," Lyles said.

Erriyon Knighton, who owns the fastest time in the world this year with a 19.49 in Baton Rouge in May, was second-fastest in the heats in 20.80.

Reigning 100m world champion Christian Coleman advanced to the semis with a time of 20.13 but said he still wasn't sure if he'd pursue a 100-200 double at worlds, which will be held July 15-24 on the same Hayward Field track in Eugene hosting this weeks national championships.

Fred Kerley, who dazzled with a 9.76sec semi on the way to winning the 100m on Friday, booked his 200m semi-final spot with a time of 20.29.