Sprint golden boy Fred Kerley said Friday he will aim for a 100-200m double at this year’s world championships as he opened the Diamond League season by overshadowing the return of Olympic 200m champion Andre de Grasse.
The 27-year-old Texan put in a blistering final 30 metres to overcome fellow American Kenneth Bednarek and take the Doha meeting’s 200m race in 19.92sec.
Sha’Carri Jackson scored an emotional victory in the women’s 100 metres, beating the meeting record set by Tori Bowie, the Olympic and world title winner who was found dead this week.
The men’s 200m saw Bednarek set the early pace but Kerley scorched away in the final stages and was the only runner below 20 seconds.
“It was smooth but I know I have work to do when I get back to training,” said Kerley, who added that he would open his 100 metres season in Japan.
Canada’s Olympic champion De Grasse, who endured an injury-marred 2022, needed a photo finish with the tail-enders to secure sixth place.
Kerley is already a shoo-in for a tilt at defending his 100m world title and he said he would have to go through trials for a 200m place, but he wants both at the worlds in Budapest in August.
“It should be a one and two hundred,” he said.
The women’s blue riband event saw Richardson, who missed the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for cannabis at the US trials, lead from gun to tape.
In a tough field, she beat Jamaica’s reigning 200m world champion Shericka Jackson (10.85sec) and Britain’s former world champion Dina Asher-Smith ((10.98) into second and third.
The 23-year-old American left the track unaware that the meeting record she had broken was Bowie’s, set in 2016.
‘Feel at peace’
But she made clear that she has points to prove as she steps up her comeback campaign ahead of the world championships.
“I’m so blessed and thankful, I feel at peace,” she said.
“All I do is the best I do and I’m excited to do it. Like I said before, I had to be kicked out from another 100m race so I had to do my best no matter what.”
On a night when 15 Olympic and world champions took part, there was plenty of early season form to assess.
Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, the double Olympic champion, easily took the 1,500m race. She said her big target this year is Genzebe Dibaba’s world record of 3:50.07.
Kipyegon has to cut 0.3sec off her personal best. Doha, she said, was “too windy”.
Puerto Rico’s Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn led the women’s 100 metres hurdles from start to finish.
World discus champion Kristjan Ceh of Slovenia picked up the first $10,000 prize of the night with his first throw of 70.89 metres.
India’s javelin hero Neeraj Chopra threw 88.67m in his opening attempt to secure first place. “It was a very hard win, but I’m happy, It’s a really good start for me.”
World and Olympic triple jump champion Pedro Pichardo of Portugal cleared 17.91m with his second jump to win his contest.
Qatari favourite, Olympic and world high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim, was beaten in his contest however, finishing behind JuVaughn Harrison of the United States (2.32m) and South Korea’s Woo Sanghyeok (2.27m).
Barshim needed three attempts at 2.21m to get into the final and then failed with all three tries at 2.27m.
- Deodhar Trophy LIVE Score, Round 1: Central 55/1 (18 overs) v East; Mulani strikes for West vs North East; streaming updates
- Shubhankar finishes eighth, achieves best ever result by an Indian at British Open
- What Google Won’t Tell You podcast: Murali Sreeshankar on long jump, basketball, speed cubing and sacrificing his beloved parotta
- Formula 1: Hamilton takes positives from fourth in Hungary
- Novak Djokovic withdraws from Toronto tournament, opts for more rest after loss in Wimbledon final