US sprinter Kerley arrives in Kenya, warns Jacobs and Omanyala to expect fast times
What you need to know:
- Unlike last year when he won the 200m in personal best 19.76 seconds, Kerley will take on Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs from Italy and Africa's fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala in the 100m at Kasarani.
- Kerley said an explosive battle is in the offing with eight of the nine athletes set to face-off having run under 10 seconds what with two of them running sub 10 seconds this season.
Tokyo Olympics 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley from United States expects fast times when the men’s 100m race goes down at the Absa Kip Keino Classic on Saturday at the Moi International Sports Centre.
Unlike last year when he won the 200m in a personal best of 19.76 seconds, Kerley will take on Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs from Italy and Africa's fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala in the 100m at Kasarani.
Kerley said an explosive battle is in the offing with eight of the nine athletes set to face-off having run under 10 seconds what with two of them running sub 10 seconds this season.
Omanyala is the fastest in the field with 9.77 seconds followed by Jacobs (9.80) and Kerley (9.84).
Kerley expects a good a show from Omanyala with the huge backing from home fans.
“Omanyala is running good times and is the fastest in the field, having downed 9.77 last year. I think, Omanyala can run better than that especially after running 9.98 recently,” said Kerley upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport early Wednesday morning.
Omanyala set a new Africa 100m record when he finished second in 9.77 behind the winner Trayvon Bromell from United States, who won in 9.76.
Kerley said it is a great honour to return to the venue where he set personal best in 200m last year though on a different mission in 100m.
“I feel wonderful to return at the venue where I ended my season last year with personal best. It feels special to be back to my roots again since my first trip to Africa,” explained Kerley, who urged fans to turnout in numbers to watch the showstopper.
“They should expect a fast and fun race at the same time. I am happy fans are back in the stadium and we should expect lots of cheering,” said the 26-year-old Kerley, who ran season’s best 9.99 to win men’s 100m at Hurricane Collegiate Invitational in Florida on March 26.
Kerley further noted that it will be sort of a rematch between him and Jacobs too besides the Omanyala challenge.
“He beat me to gold in Tokyo but I am ready for the competition. I like to compete and that is why I am here to compete with the best,” said Kerley, adding that Kip Keino is part of his preparations ahead of the World Athletics Championships scheduled for July 15 to 24 in Oregon, United States.
“The championships will be stage on my home soil and I want to finish on the podium. It will mean a lot to me since we travel so much but this time it will be at our playground,” noted Kerley, who collected two medals from the past 2019 Doha world event. He claimed gold in 4x400m and bronze in 400m.
“I am sure the silver from Tokyo Olympics will turn to gold,” said Kerley with a telling laughter.
Talking on the possibilities of Usain Bolt’s world record of 9.58, Kerley said records are not as important as medals to him. “The only thing that matter in track and field is victories and medals. You can break records but it’s nothing when you have got no medal behind your name,” said Kerley.