MELBOURNE (AFP) – Versatile track superstar Fred Kerley yesterday said his key goal for 2023 was to match Usain Bolt and claim the 100 metres (m)-200m sprint double at the world championships in Budapest this year.
The American reigning 100m world champion and Tokyo Olympic silver medallist is the star attraction at the Maurie Plant meet in Melbourne tomorrow, where he will make his season bow.
He is one of only three men in history to run sub-10 seconds for the 100m, sub-20 for the 200m and sub-44 for the 400m, giving him multiple options.
But he opted to focus on the 200m, where gold eluded him at last year’s world championships in Eugene.
“Every time I step on the track it should be something fast,” the 27-year-old told reporters.
“I know my training has been going good, so hopefully it will be a good time.
“Last year (at Eugene) I came up short in the 200, so double gold is the only thing that is on my mind at the moment.”
He vowed to run under 20 seconds in Melbourne, which has been upgraded to World Continental Tour Gold level, sitting just under Diamond League in status.
“Sub-20, you should come and see a sub-20 time,” said Kerley, who has a personal best of 19.76 sec. “Every time I step on the track I expect something of the best, every time.”
His main challenge could come from Australia’s fastest man Rohan Browning.
American Noah Lyles topped last year’s 200m times with a blistering 19.31 seconds at the world championships, which put him third on the all-time list behind Bolt and fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake. The Melbourne meet will also see Rio Olympic 1,500m champion Matthew Centrowitz take on Commonwealth champion Oliver Hoare in the mile.