US Olympic Legend Michael Johnson Explains What Fuels Fred Kerley in His Dominant Performances

Published 09/11/2021, 9:35 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Men’s 100m – Medal Ceremony – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 2, 2021. Silver medallist, Fred Kerley of the United States poses on the podium REUTERS/Dylan Martinez


The ceiling is so high for Fred Kerley that the sporting fraternity is taking notice. After a sensational performance in the 100-meters race at Tokyo Olympics, Kerley has the eyes of the track and field world on him. The American sprinter won the 100-meter race at the Diamond League finale in Zurich completing a unique record. He became the first athlete in history to win the 100m, 200m, and the 400-meters in the same competition. The ability to compete at the highest level takes some mettle and he has impressed Michael Johnson with his performances.

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Men’s 100m – Semifinal – OLS – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 1, 2021. Fred Kerley of the United States, Andre De Grasse of Canada, Yohan Blake of Jamaica, Tlotliso Leotlela of South Africa and Usheoritse Itsekiri of Nigeria in action during Semifinal 1 REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Michael Johnson explains Kerley’s motivation

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Despite being a 400-meters specialist, the sprinter chose to compete in the 100-meters race in Tokyo and took home the gold. Legendary sprinter Michael Johnson analyzed the sprinter and explained his smooth transition from the competitions.

“Hard to know the motivation and it’s different, for each athlete. But if you switch from your main event and run fast, even if you don’t win, it’s seen as a great accomplishment. Whereas in your main event, there’s a greater expectation to win and therefore more pressure,” said Kerley.

It’s quite rare to see an athlete dominating in all three races. Johnson spoke about the motivation needed for an athlete to do this. The expectations and the pressures they face are incredible. Being able to compete in different races is a skill. However, there is a difference between competing in races and dominating them. Fred Kerley is doing that to perfection.

Significantly, Kerley won the 100-meter race in Zurich by setting a time of 9.87 seconds. The athlete continues to improve in each athletic meet.

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Can Fred Kerley win all three races in Paris 2024?

After finishing first in 100m, 200, and 400m races his eyes would now be set on an ambitious target. Which is, winning three gold medals in 100m, 200m, and 400-meters at the 2024 Paris Olympics!

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Moreover, the sprinter proved his dominance by joining Wayde van Niekerk and Michael Norman as the only athletes to set times below 10s in 100m, sub 20 in 200m, and sub 44 in 400-meters. Nobody has won all three races in a single athletics meet.

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The onus is on Kerley to create history in Paris. Fans all over the world are waiting in excitement for the athlete to tap down his undoubted potential.

WATCH THIS STORY- Top 10 Greatest Moments in Olympic History

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Jacob Gijy

398 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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