4. Fred Kerley (400m)
Up-and-coming sprinter Fred Kerley has demonstrated that he means serious business this year, and his opponents will be wise to take heed when the men’s 400m takes off in London. The 22-year old comes to the World Championships with the second fastest time in the world this year (43.70s), with World Record (WR) holder Wayde Van Niekerk (43.62s) being the only man to have run faster.
The Texas A&M Senior raced to a World Lead (WL) and Personal Best (PB) of 45.02s in his first race of the season at the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson in February, which put him on 5th place on the indoors all-time list. Only Kerron Clement (44.57s), Michael Johnson (44.63s), Kirani James (44.80) and LaShawn Merritt (44.93s) have clocked quicker times.
He went on to smash the 25-year old collegiate record in May when he stormed to a then WL and PB of 43.70s during the NCAA West Preliminary rounds in West Austin. This time puts him in 7th place on the men’s all-time list. Less than two weeks later, Kerley claimed the NCAA title after returning a time of 44.10s in Oregon.
Not done with winning titles, the sprinter extended his winning streak to the US Track and Field Championships where he claimed his first senior title, taking the win in an impressive time of 44.03s to finish ahead of Gil Roberts (44.22s) and Wil London III (44.47s).
It will be exciting to see what Kerley has up his sleeves when he goes against Van Niekerk and the in-form Isaac Makwala, not forgetting his older compatriot Merritt who has had a quiet season thus far. Who knows, we might be in for a surprise!