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Noah Lyles, Erling Braut Haaland

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Noah Lyles, Erling Braut Haaland

GLASGOW (Nettavisen): Athletics star Noah Lyles is constantly making headlines in the USA, while “Brauten” has become a well-known name as a result of his achievements on the football field.

However, it turns out that Lyles has not caught on to who the Norwegian is.

He therefore looked questioning when he was asked about Braut Haaland in Glasgow. This despite the fact that they are both fighting for a given prize that will be awarded next month.

– I have no idea who that person is. Is he a football player? I don’t watch football, laughs the sprinter to Nettavisen.

– He is very big in Europe.

– Congratulations on that, Lyles continues with a smile on his face.

The two play different sports and are big in their respective arenas, but what they both have in common is that they have been nominated for “Sportsman of the Year” at the Laureus World Sports Awards (Laureus prize).

Also nominated are footballer Lionel Messi and pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis, to name a few. The former also won last year, after Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen went out victorious in 2022.

– Not okay

Despite the fact that both Haaland and Lyles can win the given prize, the latter has still not chosen to do significant research on the competitors.

In the US, the sprinter is known as a different athlete, who constantly goes his own way and doesn’t care what the outside world might think of him.

On Friday, he took silver in the 60-metre event at the indoor WC in Glasgow and, on that occasion, teamed up with red loose nails and a large necklace with diamonds.

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Branded clothes, expensive cars and a “flashy” lifestyle characterize what the 26-year-old posts on social media. An image he apparently has an ulterior motive in maintaining.

– I try to get people to watch the sport. We need more ordinary people to be fans and want to watch athletics. I heard on a radio channel on the way here today, a local station here in Glasgow, that they were talking about athletics and this championship. It sounded like something my grandmother would watch. Then I just thought “okay, now I’m thinking about athletics and my grandmother”, that’s not good, says Lyles to Nettavisen.

– How far are you willing to go to get people to open their eyes to athletics?

– Everything I can do in a respectful way. I have already stretched the rope a bit far and have pushed the limits. I just can’t go so far as to lose my contract.

Read also: Program for the indoor WC in athletics in Glasgow 2024

Thinks the US has been waiting for Bolt replacements

Lyles recently signed a new contract with Adidas and has stated that this is probably the biggest athletics has seen since Usain Bolt. The sprinter has also expressed frustration that he cannot share the sums involved and wants more transparency about the finances behind the contracts.

However, it is speculated that the American’s contract is worth tens of millions of Norwegian kroner annually. The Lets Run website reports that there is a so-called NDA (non-disclosure agreement), i.e. a confidentiality agreement, which stops Lyles from confirming the amounts.

Christopher Chavez, the man behind the American athletics website Citius MAG, believes Lyles is doing a lot to be the voice of the sport.

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– Many have looked for a new star after Usain Bolt retired. One of the coolest things about what he does is that he not only sees it as something that benefits himself, but also the other athletes. He does it by taking inspiration from other sports and tries to turn it into success in athletics, which is struggling, says Chavez to Nettavisen.

Lyles won both the 100 and 200 meters during the WC in Budapest last year and has since made a name for himself in the public eye. Among other things, he has tried to initiate a so-called “walk in” before athletics competitions. The concept originates from the American NBA, where the players enter the arena in stylish outfits, only to be photographed and filmed on the way in.

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Considers himself “dangerous”

Although Lyles is starting to become a household name in the States, the journalist is aware that there is still some way to go before he is recognized as one of the truly greats.

– He still hasn’t won an Olympic gold, but I think success, especially gold in Paris, would take his celebrity status to a new level, Chavez continues.

This year’s season holds three championships and is very important for the athletics stars. First up are the ongoing indoor WC in Glasgow, before the EC in Rome and then the Olympics in Paris. Unsurprisingly, Lyles is brimming with confidence ahead of the big competitions.

– I have never been so close, I am the second best man in the world at 60 metres. It’s dangerous, he says after the silver medal in Scotland.

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