US sprinter Fred Kerley still can’t forget the Tokyo Olympics final. Whenever he relooks at the men’s 100m final, he shouts ‘push’ at his own image and rues on missing the gold.
In a historic final, Italy’s Marcell Jacobs edged Kerley by 0.4 seconds, finishing the race in 9.80 seconds as Canadian Andre de Grasse won bronze with 9.89s. All three set new personal bests.
Now, with the World Athletics Championships around the corner on home soil, Kerley, the fastest man of the season at 9.76s, wants to heal the pain of losing the Olympic final by taking his maiden 100m gold at Hayward Field.
After the Olympics, the 27-year-old American athlete, who is originally a quartermiler and gold medallist in the 4x400 men’s relay at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, has shifted his focus to sprinting due to a problematic ankle.
Kerley, who became a track athlete by destiny after breaking his collarbone in a basketball match, is a versatile sprinter. He is only the third man in history after Wayde van Niekerk and Michael Norman to record sub-10s in the 100m, sub-20s in the 200m, and sub-44s in the 400m. Apart from being the fastest in the 100m this season, he has the fourth fastest time in 200m at 19.80s. Kerley will be among the hot prospects in Oregon.
Does this mean Kerley has sacrificed the 400m? “I haven’t switched from the 400m, I’m still training for it, but I think I can do more damage in the 100m and 200m. I said to my coach and agent, ‘I think my best move right now would be the 100m and 200m’. Right now I’m just focusing on getting my speed up so I can make history,” Kerley told World Athletics .
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