The American men swept the 100-meter medals at the World Championships in Athletics on Saturday night.
Fred Kerley was the gold medalist, edging out Marvin Bracy. Kerley’s time was 9.86 seconds and Bracey’s was 9.88 seconds. The bronze medalist was Trayvon Bromell in 9.88 seconds (officials went to thousandths of a second to decide second and third; Bracy clocked 9.874 to 9.876 for Bromell).
Three gold medals were awarded in Saturday evening’s session, and the Americans got two: Chase Ealey won the women’s shot put just before the 100m showdown.
A 27-year-old Texan, a few years ago it looked like Kerley’s glory would come in the 400 meters – he was NCAA indoor and outdoor champion at distance in 2017 as well as world bronze medalist in 2019. But before the Tokyo Olympics, he fell in the 200 and 100 meter races.
Others thought it was crazy, but Kerley knew what he was doing: After a silver medal in the 100 in Tokyo, he sprinted to a 9.76 at the US Championships last month, which makes him one of the eight fastest men in history, and now he has world gold.
Bracy, a 28-year-old from Florida, burst onto the world stage in 2014 when he won silver at the World Indoor Championships in the 60 meters. But despite being on the US team for the 2016 Olympics, international success eluded him for years. Bracy won bronze in the 60m at this year’s indoor worlds and then had three superb runs in the 100m, getting faster in each.
Bromell, 27, also from Florida, rebounded from a very disappointing performance last year at the Olympics: he arrived in Tokyo as the fastest man in the world but didn’t even reach the final. World bronze medalist in the 100m in 2015, Bromell ruptured his Achilles tendon while running the 4x100m relay at the 2016 Games, and it took years and several surgeries before he could regain his health and speed. .
It was the third time in Worlds history that a country had swept the men’s 100m – the United States also won all three medals at the 1991 and 1983 World Championships.
The United States had four men in the final, as did 2019 world champion Christian Coleman. But Coleman, who had to serve an 18-month suspension for repeatedly missing scheduled drug tests, got off to a good start but couldn’t sustain it, and his form appeared to crumble on the Last 15 meters approximately. He finished sixth in 10.01 seconds.
After a streak that saw Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake win the event from 2009 to 2015, an American has now won Worlds gold three times in a row, with Justin Gatlin in 2017, Coleman in 2019 and now Kerley.
Italian Marcel Jacobs, surprise gold medalist in this event at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, withdrew from the semi-finals and did not race. He looked stiff and like he was working Friday night in the preliminary round. Jacobs had been injured this season.
Ealey won the women’s shot put in spectacular fashion: she landed the first throw in the first round of the final and brought everyone up to speed, throwing 20.49 meters (67ft, 2.75in), just two centimeters from his lifetime record.
That throw went for six rounds and she became world champion. Ealey is the first American to win worlds gold in this event.
China’s Gong Lijiao, the reigning two-time world champion who had a quiet season, improved with each round but failed to overtake Ealey; she won the silver medal at 20.39 meters. Jessica Schilder of the Netherlands was the bronze medalist (19.77 metres).
Ealey, 27, has been consistently excellent this season – she won silver at the World Indoor Championships in March and won every outdoor competition she entered, including her lifetime record of 20 .51 meters at the United States Championships last month.
The third gold of the session came in the men’s long jump, won by China’s Wang Jianan (8.36 meters or 27 feet, 5.1 inches). In Saturday afternoon’s session, Poland’s Pawel Fajdek won the men’s hammer throw (81.98 meters or 268 feet, 11.5 inches) and Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey won the women’s 10,000 meters in 30 : 09.94.
Sunday’s finals include the men’s marathon, men’s 10,000 meters, women’s hammer throw, women’s pole vault, men’s shot put, men’s 110 meters hurdles and women’s 100 meters.