Kerley focuses on World Championship after scorching to victory in Rabat Diamond League

Published: Mon 29 May 2023, 4:37 PM

Last updated: Mon 29 May 2023, 4:39 PM

Long-striding American breaks meet record with a time of 9.94 seconds in the men's 100 metres final

By Reuters

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Fred Kerley of the US says he will be in the best shape ever for future athletic competitions this season. - AFP
Fred Kerley of the US says he will be in the best shape ever for future athletic competitions this season. - AFP

American Fred Kerley powered past Akani Simbine and Ferdinand Omanyala as he won the men's 100 metres in 9.94 seconds at the Diamond League in Rabat on Sunday.

Kerley, who won silver in the 100 metres at the Tokyo Olympics, stormed to victory with a meeting record, using his long strides in the final few metres and giving Simbine (9.99) and Omanyala (10.05) no chance of catching him.

"I can't describe my happiness for winning this race and hitting the meeting record today," Kerley said. "This is the result that I was expecting and I will keep up to achieve and reach the world Championship in the best shape ever."

Olympic gold medallist Lamont Jacobs did not compete due to a back issue.

American Shamier Little won the women's 400m hurdles in 53.95, while her compatriot Grant Holloway finished second behind Jamaica's Rasheed Broadbell in the 110m hurdles.

"I am not happy about my performance today. My goal was the first place. The crowd was very loud and they got me distracted," Tokyo silver medallist Holloway said.

"I'll work harder now to get ready for the upcoming competitions especially the World Championship where my goal is to achieve the gold medal."

In the final event of the night, home hero Soufiane El Bakkali won the 3,000m steeplechase to the delight of the home crowd.

Olympic champion El Bakkali ran a personal best of 7:56.68 - the fastest time this year - to finish well ahead of Getnet Wale (8:05.15) and Abraham Kibiwot (8:05.51).

"My aim was to break the world record but I got tired in the last lap. Now I will rest to get ready for the upcoming competitions and especially for the World Championships where my aim is to keep my title," El Bakkali said.

Wins for Mahuchikh, Moraa

Ukraine's Yaroslava Mahuchikh and Kenya's Mary Moraa, reigning Diamond League champions in the women's high jump and 800 metres, claimed wins in their respective events.

Mahuchikh took victory with an effort of 2.01 metres. The Tokyo Games bronze medallist beat compatriot Iryna Gerashchenko, who managed 1.91.

Moraa clocked a time of 1:58.72 to finish ahead of Australia's Catriona Bisset in second and American Sage Hurta-Klecker in third.

Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen continued his domination of the men's 1,500m, taking Sunday's race in 3:32.59, while Gudaf Tsegay won the women's event.

"I could run faster but it was a bit difficult in the last turn because of the wind. I won the race as I was feeling good and thanks to the training I have had," Ingebrigtsen said.

The Diamond League action shifts to Florence, Italy next week.

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