World champs preview: In an open 100m field who wins gold, Hughes, Kerley or will there be a surprise?

By World Athletics August 14, 2023
(l-r) Zharnel Hughes, Fred Kerley, Rohan Watson and Terrence Jones. (l-r) Zharnel Hughes, Fred Kerley, Rohan Watson and Terrence Jones.

Not since Paris in 2003 has the men’s 100m title been claimed by a sprinter from outside the US or Jamaica. Could 2023 in Budapest be the time and place for someone to follow in the footsteps of Kim Collins by bringing an end to the 20-year-old duopoly?

The event appears to be as open as it was in the French capital two decades ago, when Collins put St Kitts and Nevis on the global track and field map. No-one stands out as a clear favourite, though Fred Kerley perhaps ought to be considered the main contender.

The 6ft 3in Texan is the reigning champion, having led a US medal sweep on home soil in Oregon last year ahead of Marvin Bracy-Williams and Trayvon Bromell. US sprinters have won the last three golds and Kerley will lead the starred and striped challenge in Budapest, supported this time by Cravont Charleston, the 2019 world champion Christian Coleman and two-time world 200m champion Noah Lyles, a potential ‘surprise’ packet.

Kerley has contested just five 100m races this season, two of them in the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Yokohama in May, where he clocked a season’s best of 9.88. He registered comfortable victories on the Diamond League circuit in Rabat and Florence, both in 9.94, but was edged out in a tight finish in Silesia on 16 July, South Africa’s Akani Simbine taking the win in 9.97 with Kerley and Cameroon’s Emmanuel Eseme clocking 9.98 in second and third, and the newly-crowned US champion Charleston fourth in 9.99.

Ahead of Kerley on the 2023 world list stand two potential challengers in Britain’s Zharnel Hughes (9.83) and Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala (9.84).

When Hughes, a qualified pilot, flew to his 9.83 clocking in New York on 24 June, he sliced 0.04 off the ancient national record held by the only British sprinter to have claimed the world 100m title, Linford Christie, who triumphed in Stuttgart 30 years ago. Should he strike gold in Budapest, the native Anguillan would make it five wins in the event for his Jamaican coach, Glen Mills, the sprint guru who guided Usain Bolt to victory in 2009, 2013 and 2015, and also Yohan Blake in 2011.

“Obviously people are going to target the time I’ve run,” said Hughes, who won the European 200m title last year, “but I don’t put pressure on myself. That’s when things can go topsy turvy.”

Hughes, who false started in the Olympic final two years ago, has no other official sub-10 to his name in 2023, although he won the British title in 10.03 in monsoon conditions and smashed John Regis’ 30-year-old national 200m record with 19.73 for third place behind Lyles (19.47) and Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo (19.50) in the London Diamond League meeting on 23 July.

Omanyala is the only man who has dipped under 9.90 twice this year, the Commonwealth champion backing up his 9.84 from the Kip Keino Classic in May with 9.85 in the Kenyan trials on 8 July. The former rugby player has yet to make a global 100m final but has been a consistent performer on the Diamond League stage, placing third in Rabat, second in Florence and Paris and first in Monaco, and is not lacking in confidence.

Simbine’s victory ahead of Kerley in Silesia will have raised his hopes of finally making a global podium – and winning the race to become Africa’s first medal winner in the event. The 29-year-old South African has long been the ‘nearly’ man of the 100m: fifth in London in 2017, fourth in Doha in 2019 and fifth in Oregon last year, as well as fourth and fifth in the last two Olympic finals. With four successive wins behind him (in Kladno, Ostrava, Stockholm and Silesia), he heads to Hungary with serious momentum.

The African challenge promises to be fierce. Like Simbine and Omanyala, Eseme and Tebogo have also notched top three finishes on the Diamond League circuit, while Simbine’s South African teammate Shaun Maswanganyi has a 9.91 clocking to his name.

A place on the podium might not be beyond the scope of all four US sprinters – including Lyles, who beat Omanyala and Tebogo to win the 100m at the Paris Diamond League and was recovering from Covid when he took third place in the US Championships. He boasts a PB of 9.86.

A new kid on the senior international block, the 20-year-old Bahamian Terrence Jones who won the NCAA indoor 60m title in March, has run 9.91.

The Jamaican challenge will be led by Oblique Seville, who finished fourth in Oregon last year, and the emerging Rohan Watson, who started the year with a best of 10.41 but won the Jamaican title in 9.91. Ackeem Blake stands fourth on the world list with 9.89 but, having placed fourth in the trials, is on the entry list as a reserve.

Related items

  • Seville sizzles with personal best 19.96s-clocking at Atlanta City Games Seville sizzles with personal best 19.96s-clocking at Atlanta City Games

    With the Olympic Games now approximately 11 weeks away, Jamaica's Oblique Seville indicated his readiness for the global multi-sport showpiece, as he clocked an impressive personal best 19.96 seconds to win the men’s 200m at the Adidas Atlanta City Games at Piedmont Park, on Saturday.

    Seville, running from lane four, in the four-athlete field, blew away the competition to win in a negative 1.1 metres per second wind reading, and took apart his previous best of 20.17s.

    Such a performance from Seville certainly laid down a marker for what is to come at the Racers Grand Prix and National Trials in the coming months, as he targets a medal or two at this summer’s Paris Olympic Games.

    The 23-year-old won ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards, who clocked a season’s best 20.04s, while American Elija Goodwin (20.47s) and Jamaica’s 400m World champion Antonio Watson (20.99s), completed the field.

    There were no such fortunes for the Caribbean ladies in the women’s 200m, as Junelle Bromfield (23.44s) of Jamaica, and Guyana’s Aliyah Abrams (23.47s) were fourth and fifth respectively. The event was swept by Americans Lynna Irby-Jackson (22.67s), Kennedy Blackmon (22.96s) and Lauren Williams-Jones (23.18s).

    The same was true for Jamaica’s Demisha Roswell (12.98s) and Yanique Thompson (13.13s), who placed fourth and fifth respectively in the women’s 100m hurdles. American Kendra Harrison (12.67s) finished tops ahead of Nigeria’s World record holder Tobi Amusan (12.73s) and Great Britain’s Cindy Sember (12.86s).

    Carey McLeod placed third in the men's long jump.

    America’s World 110m hurdles champion Grant Holloway topped the event in a World leading 13.07s, running in a slight headwind. Robert Dunning (13.40s) and Michael Dickson (13.50s) were second and third, also with season’s best marks.

    The much-anticipated men’s 150m was expectedly won by American World sprint double champion Noah Lyles, who stopped the clock in 14.41s. Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes (14.66s) and Dominican Republic’s Alexander Ogando (14.86s) were second and third, while Jamaican Tyquendo Tracey (15.90s) was fifth.

    In the men’s long jump, Jamaica’s Carey McLeod continued his good early season form with a third-place finish, after a best leap of 7.92m. The event was won by Italy’s Mattia Furlani, who cut the sand at 8.06m, while American Damarcus Simpson was second with a season’s best leap of 7.94m. Bahamian Laquan Nairn (7.70m) was fifth.

    Jamaica’s Chanice Porter, with a season’s best 6.58m, and Tissanna Hickling (6.50m), were fifth and sixth in the women’s long jump, won by American Tara Davis-Woodhall, who cut the sand at 7.17m. Another American Quanesha Burks (6.89m) and Nigeria’s Ese Brume (6.87m) were second and third respectively.

    Meanwhile, South Africa’s Akani Simbine indicated that he was still a part of the conversation for in the men’s sprints, as he topped the 100m with a World Leading 9.90s in a slight 0.4 metres per second headwind. Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala (10.00s) and American Kendal Williams (10.05s) were the runners-up.

    American Aleia Hobbs won the women’s 100m in a season’s best 10.88s in a slight tailwind of 0.5 m/s. Her compatriots Tamar Clark (10.98s) and Mikiah Brisco (11.00s), also clocked season’s best for second and third.

     

  • Grenadian Olympians Kirani James, Lindon Victor set to compete on different continents this weekend Grenadian Olympians Kirani James, Lindon Victor set to compete on different continents this weekend

    As they continue sharpen their skills ahead this summer’s Olympics Games in Paris, France, Grenadian Olympians Kirani James and Lindon Victor are set to compete at separate meets on different continents this weekend.

    James, the 2012 Olympic champion and three-time medalist, has been confirmed for the LA Grand Prix on Saturday, May 18, at the Drake Stadium in Los Angeles, California. This will be his second race of the season having opened at the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix on April 28.

    Meanwhile, Victor, a decathlete, will take part in the Hypo Meeting at the Mosle Stadium in Gotzis, Austria, from Saturday, May 18 to Sunday, May 19.

    The Hypo Meeting is a World-Athletics organized combined events gold level meet that features the world’s top heptathletes and decathletes in two days of grueling competition.

    Victor, a two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist and the holder of several national records for Grenada has his sights set on the 2024 Paris Olympics where he will make his third Olympic appearance for the Spice Island.

    Following competition in Austria, Victor will fly home to Grenada where he will contest the long jump and the 100m at the Grenada Invitational on June 6.

  • Olympic hopeful Tamarri Lindo faces deportation to Jamaica amidst Olympic dreams Olympic hopeful Tamarri Lindo faces deportation to Jamaica amidst Olympic dreams

    Tamarri Lindo, a standout track athlete from York University in Canada, finds himself grappling with the looming threat of deportation just as his Olympic aspirations reach a critical juncture. Despite his impressive athletic achievements, including a recent bronze medal in the 60-metre hurdles for York University at the national collegiate championships, Lindo's dreams of representing Canada at the upcoming Olympics are in peril.

    Tamarri's journey to Canada began in 2019 when he and his family fled Jamaica due to alleged threats and violence linked to his father George Lindo's political activism against gang influence in support of the opposition party. Tamarri, who has excelled both academically and athletically, earned a Ca.$2,500 scholarship after catching the eye of scouts while in high school.

    "My goal was to make the 2024 Paris Olympics. But now, it feels like everything is being taken away," Lindo lamented in an emotional interview with CTV National News. "I feel like I could have a mental health breakdown. My heart is sinking."

    Despite providing evidence of threats and violence faced in Jamaica, the Lindo family's asylum claims have been denied multiple times by Canadian immigration officials. The most recent pre-removal risk assessment, conducted in March 2023, upheld previous decisions, prompting the Canada Border Services Agency to issue a deportation order scheduled for next week.

    Immigration lawyer Aidan Simardone, advocating for the Lindo family, has filed for a judicial review as their final recourse to remain in Canada. He condemned the decision, highlighting the potential danger awaiting the Lindos if forced to return to Jamaica.

    "The fact that they are doing this is unconscionable," Simardone asserted. "It goes against our Canadian values of providing people their fair opportunities and protection to those in danger in other countries."

    For Tamarri, who hoped his athletic achievements would bolster his family's case for residency, the uncertainty looms heavily. As he faces the imminent threat of deportation, he remains hopeful for a successful appeal while continuing to train and pursue his athletic goals amidst the uncertainty that surrounds his family's future in Canada.

     As the legal battle unfolds, supporters have rallied behind the Lindo family, advocating for a reconsideration of their case and hoping for a resolution that allows them to remain in Canada and for Tamarri to pursue his Olympic dreams.

     

     

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.