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“Not by You but Maybe [Noah] Lyles”: Losing Faith in Fred Kerley, Track and Field Community Mocks Latest Claim

Published 05/15/2024, 10:55 AM EDT

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via Imago

Fred Kerley, the three-time World champion, shows confidence in his ability to break the longstanding world record in the 100m. But, is this about the title of “World’s Fastest Man”? Well, Usain Bolt’s 9.58 seconds in the 100m has remained untouched even though he retired seven years ago. Looking at Fred Kerley’s journey so far, his personal best in the 100m sprint is 9.76, which he clocked in 2022.

While, Kerley opened his 2024 100m season strongly at the Hurricane Invitational in March, clinching victory with a time of 10.03. However, in April’s Diamond League event in Xiamen, Kerley (10.17) was defeated by Christian Coleman (10.13), who is one of the biggest competitors of Noah Lyles. It’s worth noting Both Coleman and Lyles are also eyeing to break Usain Bolt’s record. But before that, Kerley made a rather pompous and confident statement, though it garnered some skepticism from fans. Is overconfidence really going to be Fred Kerley’s death knell or will we see him lay his plans to fruition?

Can Fred Kerley surpass Usain Bolt’s 100m record?

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Noah Lyles has set his sights on surpassing Usain Bolt’s 100m world record from 2009. He expressed his ambition, stating,For this year (2024) specifically, I want to solidify myself as the world’s fastest man in the 100m…I definitely have the American record in the 100m on my mind and even the world record.” (Lyles’ best 9.83 seconds in 100m made last year). Following Lyles’ declaration, his rival Christian Coleman, with a personal best of 9.76 in 2019, echoed the aspiration of breaking the 9.58-second barrier in the 100m. Coleman remarked, 9.58 is obviously an extraordinary time but honestly I feel like it’s a lot of guys who are competing today who are not that far off, if the track gods see fit for it to happen.” Now, their relay team member, Fred Kerley, has joined the pursuit.

Fred Kerley recently shared a post on X, boldly declaring, “World record next time I touch the 100m.” However, his recent races have seen him finish in the sub-10 bracket. Given this, some may wonder if it’s premature for him to aim for Usain Bolt’s record. Doubt has even crept in among some observers regarding Fred’s ability to achieve this feat. It’s pertinent to reflect on the world leading scores in the 100m to gain a firm grasp whether Kerley will actually try to make it or not.

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AthletesPersonal best in 100-metreSeasonal best in 100-metre
Usain Bolt9.58 secondsRetired
Noah Lyles9.83 seconds10.01 seconds
Christian Coleman9.76 seconds10.04 seconds
Fred Kerley9.76 seconds10.03 seconds

With that in mind, a lot of fans chimed in and gave in their two cents on whether he would actually even come close to it. The comments ranged from derisive to jeering Kerley for his self-effacing claim.

Fans reacted to Kerley’s world-record ambition, brickbats galore

Among the varied responses from fans, there is a noticeable mix of skepticism regarding Fred Kerley’s declaration. One fan adopts a pragmatic stance, suggesting that Kerley should first focus on running under second times before aiming for the world record. They remark, “Let’s focus on running under 10s first, emphasizing the importance of incremental progress and setting achievable milestones.

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Conversely, another fan offers a comment dripping with sarcasm, suggesting a sense of skepticism or disbelief despite the outward expression of support. While the wording may seem encouraging on the surface, the underlying tone hints at a lack of genuine belief in Kerley’s ability to achieve his ambitious goal. The fan’s choice of words,Big words! And we are all here for it 😁,” may be interpreted as a thinly veiled jab at Kerley’s confidence, implying that the task ahead is far more daunting than his proclamation suggests.

One skeptic doubts Kerley’s ability to break the record, suggesting that Noah Lyles may be better suited for the task. They comment, “Definitely not by you but maybe Lyles,” highlighting the competitive nature of athletics and the uncertainty surrounding record-breaking feats.

Another fan expresses doubt about Kerley’s chances of even making it to the Olympic team, casting further skepticism on his ability to achieve such a significant milestone. They state, “Bro won’t even make the Olympic team,” underscoring the rigorous selection process and high level of competition in Olympic athletics.

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In a lighthearted tone, one fan humorously speculates about the possible influence of external factors, such as the use of weed, on Kerley’s confidence and performance: “Is this the power of Weed 😂😀.” While not to be taken seriously, this comment reflects the playful banter often seen among sports fans.

Amidst the varying opinions, another fan adds a touch of sarcasm to the conversation, while still acknowledging the importance of dreaming big in sports. Their comment implies a dismissal of Kerley’s chances of achieving his goal, suggesting that his aspiration may be unrealistic. They quip, “Nothing wrong with dreaming!!,” emphasizing the idea that dreaming alone may not be enough to overcome the formidable challenges ahead. Kerley’s journey towards the world record appears to face an uphill battle, leaving fans questioning whether his dream will ever become a reality.

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Written by:

Maleehah Shakeel

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Maleehah Shakeel is an Olympic Sports writer at EssentiallySports who covers equestrian sports, rodeo, bull riding, and Gymnastics. Maleehah’s stories revolve around various brand endorsement deals of athletes like Jessica Springsteen, Jennifer Gates, and Olivia Dunne. She has written in depth about the brand collaboration between Jessica Springsteen and Tommy Hilfiger.
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Edited by:

Himanshu Sridhar