Is Letsile Tebogo The Biggest Threat To Noah Lyles?

By Kyle Merber

February 21, 2024

It’s not the hottest take to suggest that the 20-year-old, who earned two medals at last year’s World Championships, would be the biggest threat to upend Noah Lyles’ 200m dominance. But after Letsile Tebogo set a new world record of 30.69 seconds for 300m, besting Wade van Niekerk’s previous mark of 30.81, it feels less like a thought experiment.

One year ago, the Motswana star ran 31.52 at the same meet and last summer ran 44.75 for 400m. He’s getting stronger! Tebogo has always had a great start, if you can recall his 9.91 U20 record that was mostly just a celebration. Now he’s extending his ability to hold that.

At last year’s London Diamond League, Tebogo really made up ground in the final strides. It was a rare occasion in which someone actually closed the gap on Lyles in the final meters. Noah understandably is working on his former weakness, too, and his 60m is now down to 6.43 seconds. IF someone were to beat Noah over 200m, is it possible that they’d do it at his own game, coming from behind to nip him at the line? Fight fire with fire, and all that?

Van Niekerk and Michael Johnson are the next two on the all-time 300m list and neither of them ran particularly strong over 200m the year they blazed their way to 300m glory. Maybe more likely is the fact that I am overanalyzing the value of a random event that no one ever runs.

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Kyle Merber

After hanging up his spikes – but never his running shoes – Kyle pivoted to the media side of things, where he shares his enthusiasm, insights, and experiences with subscribers of The Lap Count newsletter, as well as viewers of CITIUS MAG live shows.