Fred Kerley beat Michael Norman in the most anticipated race of the 2019 Toyota USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, Doha 2019 Trials.
In the highly-anticipated showdown, both quarter milers got fairly good starts, but Kerley picked up the pace on the curve to straighten before Norman. As Kerley pulled away down the straightaway, Norman tried gallantly, but could not even close the gap.
Kerley’s time 43.64, a personal best and second fastest in the world this year, only better than Norna’s season opener of 43.45. Norman, who didn’t train two weeks heading into trials, settled for second with 43.79secs.
“I had a PR, and it was a nice run for me,” said Kerley. Today was my day, and I executed the race plan.”
“Anything can happen from any lane on the track,” said Kerley, who broke the Drake Stadium record of 44.04 set by Norman in the semifinals on Friday. “From lane 1 to 8, it’s the same 400m.”
Norman spoke about his setback in practice but was quick to make it clear “it’s no excuse.”
“I lost it. I just want to be more consistent at practice and really benefit from every workout.”
“I am just happy to end the meet out here healthy and make the team,” he added while saying” sometimes you have to take a step back before you can take two steps forward, so I think this is good for me.”
Nathan Strother ended third in 44.29 and Vernon Norwood, fourth in 44.40.
In the women’s final, Allyson Felix finished sixth in 51.94, a bit slower than her 51.45 in the semifinals. Shakima Wimbley won the event in 50.21 ahead of Kendall Ellis, 50.38 and Wadeline Jonathas, 50.44.
However, Felix was still grateful for her performance.
“I am grateful more than anything,” she said. “It would be crazy for me to say that I was disappointed. I have my health, I have my family, and I couldn’t ask for any more than that.”
In the world’s most competitive event, the women’s 100m hurdles, Keni Harrison stormed to victory in 12.44. Nia Ali, 12.55, and Brianna McNeal, 12.61, rounded off the top three.
Tori Bowie, who skip the women’s 100m because she is the defending world champion, qualified for the women’s long jump with 6.78m for fourth place. Brittney Reese won the event with 7.00m.