Fred Kerley put the running universe on notice with a world-leading time of 9.83 in his opening round 100m heat at the US Trials on Thursday (23 June).
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It was a wind-legal (+1.5m/s) mark, but what makes it all the more remarkable is that he slowed up before the finish line giving people speculation he could have run somewhere in the low 9.7s. It also showed overflowing anticipation over what he might be capable of tomorrow night in the later rounds.
He crossed the line about 2 meters ahead of Cravont Charleston ( who qualified for the semifinals in10.07) and Ellis Garcia (who qualified in 10.12)
Since this was the opening round, Kerley was the only athlete to break 10 seconds. Christian Coleman won his heat in 10.08, the third-fastest qualifier, while Trayvon Bromell won his heat in 10.10. Marvin Bracy finished second to Coleman in 10.081, while Elijah Hall-Thompson qualified in a few thousandths of a second slower in 10.090 to barely take third.
Hometown hero Micah Williams ran 10.11 to qualify third in his heat behind Brandon Carnes(10.092) and Tokyo 200m Silver Medalist Kenneth Bednarek(10.098).
Kerley’s dominant performance in the event that he just began running as a professional a year ago is leaving quite an impression on his competitors as well.
“People have certain specialities, but he’s a swiss army knife. He can do it all. He’s a tough competitor…but so am I,” said Coleman to Chris Chavez of CitiusMag.
“It doesn’t surprise me. He’s run 9.8 before.” Said Bromell to CitiusMag. “You just got to keep going through the rounds.”
The semifinals and final round will be held Friday at 8:50 and 10:00 pm, respectively, EST.
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