Texas sprinter Fred Kerley wins silver medal with new personal best in Tokyo Olympics 100m final

Sep 16, 2021
Harley Tamplin

TAYLOR, Texas (KXAN) — Sprinter Fred Kerley, of Taylor, is an Olympic silver medalist after he finished second in the men’s 100m final at the Tokyo Games.

Kerley produced his best on the big occasion, running a new personal best of 9.84 seconds in the final to finish just behind gold medal winner Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy.

At a watch party in his Central Texas hometown, hosted by Tim and Jo Anna McGinnis at Pecan Manor Bed and Breakfast, Kerley’s family could barely contain their nerves — especially when the race kicked off with a false start, resulting in a disqualification for Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes.

But when the Texan eventually crossed the finish line in second place, there were emotional scenes of celebration among the Kerley family.

“To see him actually there, and actually going, watching his arms and watching the wind come out of his mouth, it’s actually overwhelming to see,” Virginia Kerley, Fred’s mother, said after the watch party. “I had the faith to know that he was going to do something good, and he had faith to know he was going to do something good also.”

His older sister Kenya echoed those sentiments as she credits her younger brother’s determination and quiet resolve to getting him to this point.

“I think proud right now would be an understatement,” Kenya added. “To see my younger brother live out his dream and his goal, everything that he put into it, the training, all of that, it’s like, we’re here, we got there.”

The Kerley family has been tremendously moved by the support they’ve received from the people of Taylor.

“We’ve had a lot of emails, a lot of texts, people that I knew from taking care of their parents and things who I haven’t seen in a couple of years, they still support me and support him,” Virginia Kerley explained.

The 26-year-old Texas A&M product will have a chance to add to his silver medal as he is likely to compete in the 4x100m relay later in the Games.

Jacobs, who was born in El Paso before moving to Italy as a newborn baby, was the surprise gold medal winner, finishing just ahead of Kerley in 9.80 seconds. Canada’s Andre de Grasse took the bronze in a time of 9.89.

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