American sprinter Lyles admits he's intimidated by Jamaica's rarified athletics atmosphere
LYLES...when we were kids, we were very well-informed about Jamaica and the crowd, and so we know that they can be very enthusiastic (Photo: Karl McLarty)

Reigning Americn World 200 metres champion Noah Lyles says he is feeling anxious yet confident of running a fast time in the half-lap event at the Racers Grand Prix on Saturday at the National Stadium in the Jamaican capital, Kingston.

Lyles, who is the third fastest man in history in the 200m with a time of 19.31 seconds, will be competing for the second time in Jamaica since 2018.

On his arrival at the Norman Manley International on Thursday, he told the Jamaica Observer that he plans to produce something special for the Jamaican fans.

"It is good to be back here and it is nice to be in another warm place," said Lyles. "I know this is a fast place and so I want to run fast too, and if can I get a little bit of that [Usain Bolt] magic," he said in reference to the Jamaican sprint great.

American sprinter Noah Lyles is all smiles shortly after arrivingat the Norman Manley International Airport where he is downto compete at the Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium inKingston on Saturday. (Photo: Karl McLarty)

"I am not going to lie, I am a little nervous, an American stepping onto Jamaican soil. When we were kids, we were very well informed about Jamaica and the crowd and so we know that they can be very enthusiastic themselves cheering on or booing people, so I am preparing myself for both," he said.

"I am going to deliver because last I didn't run faster than 19.9 so I am expecting to run at least 19.7, so if I pull and I limped across the line I am going to run 19.7," Lyles added.

Only Jamaican Bolt's 19.19 and Yohan Blake 19.26 are faster than Lyles' time.

The 25-year-old American has a season's best 20.16, but according to him, this is mainly because he has been concentrating a lot on the 100m for which he holds a season's best time of 9.96.

Jamaican 400m AkeemBloomfield speaks to reportersshortly after arriving at theNorman Manley InternationalAirport in Kingston on Thursday.

"So far, it is shaping up to be my best year, [as] I came out swinging, I have seen some nice second performances in the 100 metres. The 200 metres is something that we haven't ramped up yet, but me and my coach are really going hard for the 200 metres so I am ready to run fast here," he stated.

Lyles shared that he is planning to do the sprint double at this year's World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, and his preparations are geared for both events.

"I am super excited this year because most of this year I have been pushing towards doing the double, so I will be running a lot more 100 metres this year and it has been paying off," he said.

"I have been producing a lot more nine seconds this year and earlier in my career instead of later down the line, so I am more comfortable with and making sure that I don't drift away from the 200 metres," Lyles added.

Also arriving with Lyles on Thursday were national 400m runners Akeem Bloomfield and Junelle Bromfield. Meanwhile, former American World 100m champion Christian Coleman and South Africa's Wayde van Neikerk were expected to arrive last night for the highly anticipated event.

Racers Grand Prix
BY ROBERT BAILEY Staff reporter

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