Fred Kerley reacting after the men's 400-meter final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 on Oct. 4, 2019 in Doha, Qatar.
The U.S. men have medaled in the 100-meter, 200-meter, 400-meter and 800-meter events at the IAAF World Championships for just the third time in history after Fred Kerley claimed the bronze medal in the 400-meter final on Friday in Doha, Qatar.
The two-time national champion improved on his seventh-place finish in the race in 2017 to win his first individual world championships medal with a time of 44.17 seconds. He previously won a silver medal in the 4x400 in 2017.
Coming into the race Kerley was the only one in the field who’d run under 44 seconds, having set a new personal best at this year’s national championships with a time of 43.64 seconds. However, that would change by the end of the race as the Bahamas’ Steven Gardiner won with a time of 43.48 seconds. Gardiner took control in the final turn and Kerley couldn’t catch up in the distance remaining. Colombia’s Anthony José Zambrano also passed Kerley to win the silver medal with a time of 44.15 seconds.
Gardiner’s win marked the first at the distance for an athlete from the Bahamas.
Absent from the field was Kerley’s teammate and chief rival, Michael Norman, who finished last in his semifinal heat on Tuesday and said afterward that he was injured.
The only other years in which the U.S. men medaled at all four distances were in 2013 and 1991. They were blanked in the 400-meter final in 2017.
The U.S. men had a chance to win all four titles for the first time ever after Christian Coleman won the title in the 100-meter, Noah Lyles the title at 200-meter and Donavan Brazier gave the U.S. its first-ever men’s title in the 800-meter.