Ronnie Baker, one of the leading sprinters to secure a place on Team USA in the 100m, praised Fred Kerley for his confidence in stepping down in distance to race in the shorter sprints at the 2021 US Olympic Trials but added that not everyone can make the team.
Baker Focusing In Himself, Not Kerley
Baker is entering the US Olympic Trials undefeated and in good form after getting the better of a few solid fields already this season, while posting three sub-10 seconds times from his five appearances in the 100m.
“I think that he’s very confident,” Baker said during an interview with FloTrack on its YouTube Channel. “He’s run well, beating some of the top guys.”
Although applauding Kerley for showing courage to step out of his comfort zone to take on some of the world’s best in the 100m and 200m, Baker admits that his main focus is not his opponents, but on himself.
“Personally, I gotta stay focus on what I am doing, but good for him,” Baker noted. “I’m just trying to stay focus on making the team.
“If he’s there, he’s there. If he’s not, you know, everyone can’t make it.”
Kerley Ready To Do Something Special At US Olympic Trials?
Kerley, who has a pair of sub-10 seconds clocking in his career (both coming this season), including his personal best of 9.91s, is also heading to Eugene, Ore., in top form but his decision to scratch from the 400m in favor of running the 100m and 200m came as a shock to many a few days ago.
The 400m specialist is one of the top quarter-milers in the world and the bronze medal winner at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. His early exploits in the 100m this term were deemed as a strategy to work on his speed to run a faster 400m.
However, the 26-year-old’s decision to step away from the one-lap event after two very strong appearances this season (44.60 and 44.74) is an indication that he and his coach believe that he’s ready to perform better in the 100m/200m.
The 2021 US Olympic Trials will get underway this Friday, while the heats of the men’s 100m is slated to take place on Saturday.