Noah Lyles fires back at salty Fred Kerley over favouritism claim in 4x400m relay at Indoor Championships

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ATHLETICS Noah Lyles fires back at salty Fred Kerley over favouritism claim in 4x400m relay at Indoor Championships

Joel Omotto 17:47 - 04.03.2024

Noah Lyles has responded to rival Fred Kerley who claimed he is favoured by US Track & Field, hence his inclusion in the 4x400m relay team at the World Indoor Championships.

Multiple world champion Noah Lyles has dismissed Fred Kerley’s claim of favouritism after the former world 100m champion claimed his track rival did not deserve a slot in Team USA’s 4x400m relay team at the 2024 World Indoor Championships.

Lyles was part of the US team that won silver in Glasgow on Sunday, taking charge of the third leg, after Jacory Paterson and Mathew Boling, before passing the baton to Christopher Bailey in Sunday’s final.

However, in a series of social media posts, a bitter Kerley called out the US Track and Field over what he termed favouritism towards Lyles while claiming the athletes were treated as "puppets."

Kerley’s borne of contention is that Lyles has zero 400m experience and should not have been included in the team at the expense of specialists like him and Kenny Bednarek who have previously expressed an interest in running the 4x400m relays at the 2023 World Championships and the Paris 2024 Olympics but denied the chance.

But Lyles was quick to respond, suggesting his track rival is just bitter because he could not meet the standards.

"He could be here, but he ain't. If he mad, come on out here,” Lyles told the media after Sunday’s final.

Lyles has expressed an interest in running the 4x400m relay besides 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at the Paris 2024 Olympics and was using the Indoor Championships to test his capabilities before he embarks on proper training.

“I wanted to win and make sure that I did my best for these guys because I know I am the new guy and I have not shown any 4x400m as a professional so I wanted to make sure they knew they can trust me,” added Lyles.

“I wanted to make sure I show everyone I am fit so if we get to Paris, I believe I can be sharper enough to be on that 4x400m finals.”

US sprint legend Michael Johnson, the former 400m record holder and Olympic champion, had also defended the decision to have Lyles in the race, saying it would not only give him experience ahead of the Paris Games, but also help the ‘weak’ US team.

“US putting Noah on the 4x400 relay makes sense. US indoor 400 team is weak. No finalist in the open 400. Noah has expressed a desire to run both relays in Paris. This is an opportunity for him to prove if he deserves it,” Johnson posted on X.

That was after Kerley went on an online rank, tearing into the US Track and Field with some expletives.

“Man, I tell you last 3 years we have been asking to be in that ish f**k that Olympic storyline s*it yall puppets no in between either,” an angry Kerley posted on X on Sunday.

“US Track and Field y’all play that favoritism like mf. Y'all like puppets. For sure yes man,” he added in another post.

The latest development will further sour the relationship between the two sprinters ahead of the Paris Olympics with Lyles having succeeded Kerley as the 100m world champion last year.

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