This is Witness the Wonder, the Preview to the 2023 World Champs in Budapest for Day 31, May 18, 2023.
For the next 14 days, RunBlogRun will be posting a story a day on the buildup to the World Athletics Outdoor Championships, to be held in Budapest, Hungary, from August 19-August 27, 2023.
Today we are going to write about one of the hottest athletes in the world, Fred Kerley.
Fred Kerley, 100m, World Athletics Championships Eugene, Oregon, USA July15-26, 2022 100 meters qualifying, photo by Kevin Morris
Fred Kerley came onto the scene globally with his 44.03 wins at the 2017 USATF Champs, putting him on the team to London World Champs. In London, Fred took 7th in the final in 45.32 and silver in the 4x400m in that titanic battle with Trinidad & Tobago.
I met Fred Kerley in 2018 at the Birmingham Indoor; he was quiet. Fred, I realize now, had not done many interviews, and I really was not asking the right questions.
Fred Kerley showed up at the US Olympic Trials in July 2021 and competed in the 100m and 200m, surprising many by not competing in the 400 meters.
In the Tokyo Olympics in August 2021, Fred Kerley took the silver, Marcell Jacobs took the gold, and Andre De Grasse took the bronze.
In 2022, Fred Kerley took gold in the World Championships, leading a US sweep. Fred took the gold, Marvin Bracy took the silver, and Trayvon Bromell took the bronze.
As the World Champion, Fred told the mixed zone;
“The job is done for today. Next I’ve got to concentrate on the 200 and then the relay. It felt amazing. I got the work done this time around and the gold medal means more than anything. It’s amazing to do it on home soil with the home crowd behind us. It’s a wonderful blessing to get a clean sweep. I feel we can dominate again at (next year’s) World Championships. We all put the work in, come back home and return again next year.
This win means I can do 100, 200 and 400m. I got a medal in 400m and 100m. There’s one only next.
I approach the 200m by getting rest today and tomorrow and get the job done Monday morning.”
Remember, Fred has run 9.76 for the 100m, 19.76 A for the 200 meters, and 43.64 for the 400 meters. He is one of only three men who have run under 10 seconds for the 100m, 20 seconds for the 200m, and 45 seconds for the 400 meters. The other two? Wayde Van Niekerk and Mike Norman.
A smiling champion, Fred Kerley, with the bronze medalist, Trayvon Bromell, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
In 2023, Fred Kerley moved from Nike to ASICS, and behind ASICS’ marketing might, many more fans of the sport follow Fred around the globe. His two wins in Australia in March helped him open the season quite well.
Fred Kerley opened the Diamond League. with a come-from-behind victory in a very hot 200 meters. After that race, Fred told the media:
“I was comfortable, but I know I still got work to do. The most important this was to win, and I did. I was happy with the competition, it was a good one, the guys gave me a fight. Next is Japan, opening up my season in the 100.”
Fred Kerley in Melbourne, photo by Maurie Plant Meeting 2023/ContinentalWorldTour
Fred Kerley has upped the ante, challenging Marcell Jacobs on social media this season. On May 28, and June 2, Fred Kerley will battle Marcell Jacobs, the Olympic champion, and Ferdinand Omanyala, the Commonwealth and African champion.
Just what we need for Budapest in just less than three months!
In Doha, I asked Fred Kerley just why he was so good at the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 400 meters. Fred’s reply: “I love to compete. ”
Watch Fred Kerley, the defending World Champion at 100 meters, compete in Budapest in August 2023!
To read all of our earlier stories in Witness the Wonder, numbers 1-30: