Stuart had wished to submit this final week, however we have been launching the brand new RunBlogRun website. So, Stuart Weir, our European senior editor, up to date his piece, and presto! Fred Kerley is right here!
Fred Kerley excited for 2022
You understand how you might have the right thought for an interview and the athlete goes and spoils it! I used to be going to get the unique from Fred Kerley on why he had given up the 400m to focus on the 100.
“I haven’t switched from the 400”, he informed me! “I’m nonetheless coaching for the 400. I used to be coaching for the 400 all by way of the Olympics. I wasn’t specializing in pace work, simply on competitiveness. It was simply me occurring my coronary heart, going and working. I’m a competitor and I wish to compete. There’s a distinction between individuals who simply wish to get in a race and do nothing. Nobody on this world will break my confidence. I imagine in myself and that’s a tough man to beat. I haven’t modified from 400 to 100. I requested my coach and my agent, the day earlier than the Olympic trials saying I’d wish to run the 100 and 200. It was the day earlier than the entries closed. I used to be getting back from the FBK video games the place I had run 44.74 and I mentioned to my coach and agent, ‘I feel my greatest transfer proper now could be the100 and 200’. And so they mentioned to me, ‘in case you imagine in your self, go for it’.
Rising up in Texas, Fred Kerley was extra into soccer and basketball than observe and discipline. We now have his Excessive Faculty coach – Coach Lowe – to thank for his emergence as a observe star. However Fred’s motives weren’t completely pure: “I used to be simply doing observe and discipline for enjoyable and to make me quicker for soccer”. Then an accident pushed him in our route. “In my senior yr in highschool, I broke my collarbone and felt I shouldn’t play soccer in school as a result of it could simply result in extra accidents”. At highschool, he had executed a variety of disciples – triple soar, lengthy soar, and some excessive jumps however his important occasion was 200m by which he ran a ran 21.5. Whereas he ran some 4 by 400s, he thinks he solely ran one particular person 400 in his highschool profession “and that was only for enjoyable”. When requested how good he was as a jumper, he replied: “I used to be respectable, respectable” including, “I received’t be doing any extra leaping any time quickly. I feel leaping takes loads out of you. Leaping is more durable than working. I would like my knees and ankles”.
Regularly a expertise for working emerged, helped by a school coach seeing that 400 may be his greatest occasion: “I went to South Plains Faculty and I ran 46.38 (2014) however then in my sophomore yr I tore my quad. I bought a scholarship to A&M and I ran 45.1 after which a 44 at NCAA. The next yr I dropped the bomb and ran 43.70”. [ 43.70 in Austin, May 2017].
In 2019 he took bronze within the World Championships in Doha, working 44.17 behind Steven Gardiner and Antony Zambrano. He was excited for the 2020 Olympics, got here by way of the winter in fine condition, able to assault the 2020 season, and in a phrase he used greater than as soon as within the interview, able to “do some injury”. Then the pandemic struck. His native observe closed. Meets have been canceled and the Olympics postponed.
Then in 2021, he switched to 100m – however he didn’t actually. He informed me that he had not switched from 400 to 100 and warranted me that in 2022 we’d see him working 100s, 200s, and 400s – however not on the identical day! Going into the 2021 US Olympic Trials, he had one aim – to be chosen for his first Olympic Video games. He “wasn’t wholesome”. Carrying an damage, which was hampering his bend working, led him to the conclusion that his handiest races within the trials could be the 100 and 200. He ran 9.78 to take second place within the trials and assure his ticket to Tokyo. He additionally ran the 200 in 19.90 – a time which might have positioned him fourth within the Olympic Ultimate however which, sadly, additionally positioned him fourth within the US trials. Andre de Grasse received the Olympic 200m last with the three Individuals who had completed forward of Fred within the trials coming second, third and fourth.
He continued his glorious type after the Olympics, working sub 10 seconds for 100m eleven instances within the season in addition to 5 sub 20 finishes within the 200. He received the Diamond League 100m in 9.87. It’s a pleasant story that he had by no means run a 100m race earlier than and all of the sudden was profitable an Olympic silver medal, however as he identified to me, he had run a ten.56 aged 18 and had been in a number of dash relays in school.
Having competed in World Championships in London and Doha, he’s delighted to have a house championship and on a observe, he is aware of nicely. He determined to not do an indoor – “Outdoor is the place all the pieces comes alive”. He assured me that I’d see him at many Diamond Leagues, including “I like Europe. Europe is a blessing to me as a result of I can journey the world and see all the pieces that I used to simply see in textbooks and see it in actual life. I like touring in Europe and seeing all of the totally different stuff”.
His early season type has been spectacular:
100m – seven races all underneath 10 seconds together with 9.83, 9.96, and 9.77 at US Champs.
200m – 3 times sub 20, together with 19.75 in Doha.
400m – one race, 44.47
If he can take an Olympic silver medal in a season the place he wasn’t wholesome, it will likely be thrilling to see what he can do in Oregon and past.