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Kerley is new sprint king

Sports 21 Jul, 2022 Follow News

Fred Kerley was in blistering 100m form

American sprinting pride has been restored after years of playing second fiddle to Jamaican dominance.

Fred Kerley declared it “amazing to be among the greats” after sealing the 100m crown in 9.86 seconds at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon on Sunday.

Kerley edged home by just two hundredths from Marvin Bracy and Trayvon Brommell, having trailed earlier in the race.

The result made it an American 1-2-3, just the third time that has ever happened in the event’s long history, with the two previous times also being American trios: Carl Lewis, Leroy Burrell and Dennis Mitchell in Tokyo in 1991, with Lewis having also done it in 1983 alongside Calvin Smith and Emmit King in Helsinki.

“I know this win opened up many doors for me,” Kerley said. “The future is bright for me. It’s amazing to be among the greats, they did it in 1991, we did in 2022.

Sprint legend Usain Bolt led the congratulations for the 27-year-old, who will also compete in the 200m.

The win is Kerley’s first individual world title and is made even more remarkable by the fact that the Texan only switched to the 100m from the 400m at the start of last year. It was the fastest heat time ever recorded in World Championship history.

“There’s definitely more in the tank, that was very easy,” said four-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson on BBC TV.

Kerley’s blistering time came on the same track in Eugene, that he set a personal best and world lead of 9.76 secs in winning the US trials in June.

He is a three-time world medallist across the 400m and 4x400m relay but switched to the shorter distances last year.

But Kerley’s performance was a stark contrast to that of Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs, who looked rusty after struggling with a thigh injury this year.

The Italian, a shock winner in Tokyo, equalled his season’s best of 10.04 seconds but finished second behind Jamaica’s Oblique Seville in his heat.

“The stadium, the track and the atmosphere were great but I struggled in the race,” Jacobs said.

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