World Athletics: Kerley king of the 100m, American hat-trick at home
USA baby! With their usual showmanship, the American sprinters confiscated the 100m podium at the World Championships in Athletics from Eugene, dedicating new straight-line star Fred Kerley to Eugene.
In 9 sec 86 (-0.1 m/s wind), Kerley (27) beat Marvin Bracy (9.88) and Trayvon Bromell (9.88), separated by a thousandth of a second, while Italian Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs had to withdraw for injury a few hours before the semi-finals.
“We announced it and we did it, USA baby!”. Fred Kerley was able to thrill the Hayward field crowd as soon as he completed his 100m, snatching “USA, USA”. After having predicted this “sweep” with their touch of natural arrogance (broom sweep, the expression used across the Atlantic), the Americans kept their word under the setting sun of Oregon.
For the first time since 1991, they achieved this hat-trick on the queen distance, succeeding legends Carl Lewis, Leroy Burrell and Dennis Mitchell. After the Usain Bolt era, this is the third consecutive title over the distance with three different winners for the USA, following the victories of Justin Gatlin in 2017 and Christian Coleman, 6th Saturday, in 2019.
The 100m final, announced by two fighter planes low above the stadium, allowed the “top gun” Fred Kerley to make his end of the race speak to come back to the wire on Bracy, specialist in the 60m in room (in bronze at the Worlds this winter) author of a better start.
– Former 400m specialist –
His power and the maintenance of his maximum speed, Fred Kerley takes them from his versatility, he who was a specialist in the 400m until last year, the distance over which he had won bronze at the last World Championships in Doha in 2019.
The burly 27-year-old has definitely succeeded in his transition to short distances after winning Olympic silver in the 100m last summer in Tokyo, even if he assures that he has not given up on the lap.
He dreams of making history and setting world records in the 100 to 400 m, including the 200 m, a distance over which he is scheduled to start on Monday in Eugene, where he has the means to achieve a success with the 4×100 m. in addition.
“He’s a special guy, a rare talent capable of running the three distances (of the sprint), he has an unlimited range. He is of the caliber of the very best like the Bolts and Van Niekerk”, greeted his compatriot Marvin Bracy.
– “Sacrificed his life” –
Kerley, who grew up in Taylor, near Austin, Texas, believed in her destiny after growing up in a difficult environment, including a father in prison when he was a baby. He was raised under the same roof as twelve other children, including his four brothers and sisters, by his aunt Virginia, known as “Meme”, a nickname inscribed on her skin among her many tattoos.
“I think of her every day, because without her I wouldn’t be talking to you now. She sacrificed her life for me, my brothers, my sisters and my cousins. I thank her for giving me the means to succeed in my life”, said the sprinter in the mixed zone.
Very pious, this talent was first expressed in American football and basketball in high school, before a broken collarbone pushed him definitively onto the track, where he had achieved wonders from his university years with the Texas A&M college.
Behind him, the unknown Bracy (28) won his first international outdoor medal. In tears, Trayvon Bromell won a new world bronze on the straight after 2015 at the age of 27. In the meantime, serious injuries had almost cost him his career.
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