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Fred Kerley to race Noah Lyles at 2024 New Balance Grand Prix

The last two 100m world champions will race over 60 metres at the New Balance Grand Prix on Feb. 4

Fred Kerley Photo by: Kevin Morris

On Feb. 4, the New Balance Grand Prix in Boston will witness a showdown between two of the fastest men in the world as the reigning 2022 world 100m champion, Fred Kerley, joins the men’s 60m field. This sets the stage for an electrifying meeting between Kerley and the current world 100m champion, Noah Lyles.

This will be Kerley’s debut in the 60m distance and his first appearance at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, a Gold Label event within the World Athletics Indoor Tour. It has been three years since Kerley last raced indoors (a 400m).

The decision to participate adds anticipation to Kerley’s clash with Lyles. The two sprinters have not competed against each other since 2022. Despite securing an automatic qualification spot for the 2023 World Athletics Championships with his world 100m win in 2022, Kerley did not run the 100m at the 2023 U.S. Trials, sidestepping a potential showdown with Lyles, who was aiming to qualify for the U.S. team.

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Lyles is the reigning 60m champion at the New Balance Grand Prix, running a personal best of 6.51 seconds last year. He holds an undefeated streak in the event over his last six races. He is also coming off the best track season of his career, where he won the sprint double (100m/200m) at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest and was honoured as the World Athletics Male Track Athlete of the Year.

The rivalry between Kerley and Lyles has not only played out on the track but also in verbal exchanges. Kerley took a jab at Lyles when discussing the required time to win worlds in Budapest, saying, “If Noah’s going to run 9.65, then I’m running faster.” In response, Lyles said, “That’s what they all say, ’til they get beat.” The tables turned at the 2023 World Athletics Championships, where Kerley bowed out in the semi-finals, and Lyles had the last laugh, winning gold.

Noah Lyles
Noah Lyles in the men’s 200m final at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest. Photo: Kevin Morris

Despite their competitive banter, the two sprinters last shared the track to help the U.S. men’s team win a world title in the 4x100m relay. Their face-off at the 2024 New Balance Grand Prix could predict the early favourite to win at the U.S. Olympic Trials in July. It promises to be an unforgettable race.

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