All-purpose sprinter and quarter-mile specialist Fred Kerley will explore something new at the US Olympic track and field trials after he was scratched from the 400m, but remained in the 100m and 200m.
Kerley, who owns the No. 8 fastest time in the world this season at 44.60 seconds, was seen as one of the leading candidates to secure a place on the US Olympic 400m team to the delayed 2020 Tokyo Games later this summer.
However, it seems as though the world bronze medalist who owns a personal best of 43.64s, is now fancying his chances over the short distances, despite some track and field supporters giving him a minimum chance of finding success in those disciplines.
Kerley is enjoying a breakout season in the 100m with a pair of sub-10 seconds clockings after running a personal best of 9.91s, the fourth fastest in the world this season, and 9.96s, which he achieved when beating Justin Gatlin at the Ostrava Golden Spike meeting, on May 19.
Crowded Men’s 100m/200m Fields
Kerley’s decision to enter in the 100m means he will be adding to an already deep lineup that includes five men who have gone faster than his personal best and a number of college stars who are champing at the bit to get back on the track after a fruitful NCAA campaign.
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old is expected to have his hands full in the men’s 200m, and will certainly need to improve on his lifetime best of 20.24s if he is to land a top-three place at the trials.
So far this season Kerley, who matched his personal best when winning in Gainesville, FL, in April, has the 23rd fastest time overall in the world this season behind Terrance Laird’s world-leading time of 19.81.
Kenny Bednarek (19.88), Noah Lyles (19.90), and Joseph Fahnbulleh (19.91) have already dipped under 20-seconds this season, while the likes of Matthew Boling, and teenagers Erriyon Knighton and Jaylen Slade are expected to be in the mix as well.
We are anticipating a thrilling battle in the race to make the men’s 400m team, but it is not going to be any easier in the 100m and 200m showdowns.