Noah Lyles: Why American sprint king is unhappy with track and field commentators

Noah Lyles

Noah Lyles: Why American sprint king is unhappy with track and field commentators

Festus Chuma 14:30 - 15.04.2024

Multiple world champion Noah Lyles has criticized track commentators a day after his season opener at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational.

Six-time world champion Noah Lyles has once again voiced his dissatisfaction with the way track and field athletes are introduced and recognized by commentators. 

This outburst followed a less-than-stellar introduction at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational in Gainesville, Florida, on April 13, where Lyles kicked off his 2024 outdoor season with a victory in the 100-meter dash.

Expressing his discontent on X, Lyles criticized the commentators for their lack of preparation.

 "These commentators need to do their research before introducing athletes. We work too hard for our accolades and I've heard too many times them not given to us," Lyles posted. 

His frustration is not a new occurrence. Last year, he sparked a debate over the use of "world champions" title by NBA teams, advocating for a more accurate representation of international achievements in sports.

In a sport that struggles with visibility and recognition, Lyles has been vocal about the challenges track athletes face in the U.S.

"You watch a sport that is very publicized...then they put 'world championship' there and on their’s like, you have actual world champions and we are ready to do just as much work and show our journey...and we are just not paid attention it hurts," Lyles explained in an interview last year.

Despite the fiery start to his indoor season, including a win at the USATF indoor championships, Lyles's performance at the Tom Jones Memorial was below the expectations set by his coach Lance Brauman, who had targeted a time in the 9.70s. 

Instead, Lyles clocked in at 10.01 seconds, narrowly edging out Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Kenny Bednarek by just five-thousandths of a second.

Track and field commentators are often the first point of contact between the athletes and the viewing public making their role crucial in how athletes are perceived and appreciated. 

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