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World Athletics Championships: Fred Kerley wins 100m gold in US clean sweep

By Vincent Ashitey
Fred Kerley
Fred Kerley
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Fred Kerley won his first individual World Championship title as he led an American clean sweep of the men's 100m medals on home soil.

The 27-year-old, who won Olympic silver last year, won in 9.86 seconds as Marvin Bracy edged out Trayvon Bromell for silver on reaction time in Eugene.

It is the first time any nation has won all three medals in the world 100m since the United States in 1991.

READ ALSO: World Athletics Championships: Benjamin Azamati, Paul Amoah fail to make 100m semis spots

"I know today opened up many doors for me," said Kerley.

"The future is bright for me."

Former 400m runner Kerley only dropped down to the shorter sprint distance in 2021, having won 400m bronze and 4x400m relay gold in 2019.

His silver-medal winning performance in Tokyo came on his major championship debut over 100m, and less than a year later, he is world champion.

On Friday, he set the fastest heat time ever recorded in World Championship history with his 9.79 second effort, but left it late in the final to dip over the line 0.02 seconds ahead of his compatriots.

The last US clean sweep of the 100m podium came 31 years ago and featured Carl Lewis, Leroy Burrell and Dennis Mitchell in Tokyo. Lewis led the previous occurrence, alongside Calvin Smith and Emmit King, in Helsinki in 1983.

"It's amazing to be among the greats, they did it in 1991, we did in 2022," said Kerley.

"This is history, to be part of something that has only happened three times ever just means the world to me."

Jamaica's Oblique Seville, the fastest qualifier for the final, was fourth while American defending champion Christian Coleman placed sixth in what was his first major final after his whereabouts suspension.

He received a two-year ban in 2020 after missing three drugs tests, meaning he could not compete at the Olympics.

The champion in Tokyo, Marcell Jacobs, earlier withdrew from the 100m before the semi-finals after experiencing tightness in his right thigh.

The Italian, a shock winner at the Olympics last year, has struggled with a thigh injury this year and finished second in his heat on Friday.

A statement by the Italian team doctor said Jacobs competing would "put muscle integrity at risk and lead to injury".

"A painful choice, I am forced to stop," Jacobs said on Twitter.

"I am a fighter and this is why I decided to be in Eugene. Now, in order not to compromise the rest of the season by risking a more serious injury, I have to postpone the challenge. I promise, I will do my best to make you dream!"