TOKYO -- Fred Kerley, 400m bronze medalist at the 2019 World Championships, capped off a remarkable year with silver in the men’s 100m, and a pair of young jumpers added top-eight finishes in the evening session of day three at Olympic Stadium.

 On demand coverage of this session’s events will be available via NBC Olympics

Men’s 100m final

Tensions were already high as usual for the marquee men’s final of the evening, and the pressure ticked up even more after a false start eliminated Britain’s Zharnel Hughes. When the gun fired for the second time, Fred Kerley (Taylor, Texas / USATF Gulf) ran into the history books with a performance that almost no one outside his close circle of associates would have predicted before this season.

Kerley drove powerfully from the blocks and was almost even with Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs halfway down the straight, and those two were clearly the class of the field coming to the finish. Jacobs finished best to win in a European record 9.80, with Kerley claiming silver in a lifetime best 9.84, the second-fastest silver medal mark in Games history. Ronnie Baker (Fort Worth, Texas / USATF Southwestern) was fifth in 9.95.

Kerley, the bronze medalist in the 400m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha and a 4x400m relay gold medalist there, had never run faster than 10.49 in the 100m coming into 2021 and he has put together a remarkable string of performances with eight sub-10 clockings.

Men’s High Jump final

An opening height of 2.19m/7-2.25 was no problem for JuVaughn Harrison (Baton Rouge, Louisiana / USATF Southern) and Shelby McEwen (Abbeville, Mississippi / USATF Southern), but when the bar went up to 2.24m/7-4.25 McEwen was down to his final attempt before clearing with a sigh of relief after Harrison again sailed over first time. McEwen regrouped and promptly nailed 2.27m/7-5.25 on the first try and it was Harrison’s turn to clatter the bar on his first two attempts. Harrison touched the bar on his third try but it stayed up and he lived to jump another height.

At 2.30m/7-6.5 McEwen dislodged the crossbar and Harrison’s light touch with his calves also knocked it off on first attempts. Harrison again brushed the bar on his second try but it stayed on, while McEwen went out after three misses and finished 12th. Moving up to 2.33m/7-7.75 started to separate the medal contenders from the rest. Harrison missed his first time but showed maturity beyond his years to go over on his second attempt and remain in the hunt with six other men. Passing at 2.35m/7-8.5, Harrison faced what would be a lifetime best of 2.37m/7-9.25 and he missed on one attempt, then passed to 2.39m/7-10 and missed his final two tries to place seventh. 

Women’s Triple Jump final

Keturah Orji (Atlanta, Georgia / USATF Georgia) had her best effort of the day in the first round, going 14.59m/47-10.5 to place seventh in a competition that saw Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela finally claim the world record that has seemed inevitable for three years with a massive 15.67m/51-5 on the last jump of the event.

Men’s 100m semifinal

After a lengthy delay following the disqualification of Britain’s Reece Prescod for a false start, Kerley used a superb drive phase to put himself in the lead with 30m to go in section one, clocking 9.96 for the win.

Despite a deficit after the first half of the final semi, Baker stormed back and almost won in a lifetime best 9.83, just .02 behind Bingtian Su of China, who won in the same time to set an Asian record. Baker’s time made him the 5th-fastest in Olympic history.

Looking sharper than he did in his heat run, Trayvon Bromell (Jacksonville, Florida / USATF Florida) got out well and was in or near the lead through 80m and ended up third in 10.00 in semi two, but missed out on the final. His was the fastest semi time ever not to make the final at the Games.

Women’s 100m Hurdles semifinal

Two recalls for faulty starts didn’t seem to have a negative effect on world record holder Keni Harrison (Pflugerville, Texas / USATF Texas Southern), who coolly skimmed the hurdles to place second in 12.51 and advance to her first Olympic final.

Behind an Olympic record run by Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico in semi three, Gabbi Cunningham (Holly Springs, North Carolina / USATF North Carolina) clocked 12.67 and advanced as the final time qualifier.

Christina Clemons (Lawrence, Kansas / USATF Missouri Valley) was even with the leaders at the first hurdle and ran well through the seventh barrier but then lost some ground and ended up fourth in 12.76 and did not advance.

Men’s 800m semifinal

A quicker pace in the second semi put Rio bronze medalist Clayton Murphy (Pepper Pike, Ohio / USATF Lake Erie) fifth at the halfway point and a well-timed sprint down the homestretch let him thread between the leaders on the inside and grab second in 1:44.18 to assure him of a lane in  the final.

Forsaking his traditional frontrunning in the final semi, Isaiah Jewett (Inglewood, California / USATF Southern California) was third at the bell and was moving into contention midway through the final bend when he was taken down in a fall with Nijel Amos of Botswana, the world’s fastest man this year and the 2012 silver medalist. Both men got up and slowly jogged to the finish, with Jewett clocking 2:38.12 for seventh.

Bryce Hoppel (Midland, Texas / USATF Missouri Valley) zipped to the front of semi one and led through the bell in 52.12 but had his stride interrupted with just over 150m to go and never regained his rhythm as he finished fifth in 1:44.91 and didn't move on.

Men’s 400m Hurdles semifinal

The two fastest men in the event were drawn in the first semi, with Rai Benjamin (Mount Vernon, New York / USATF New York) in lane five and world record holder Karsten Warholm of Norway in seven. Both men charged away from the start, and Benjamin was level through the midway point despite clipping the fourth hurdle. The dynamic duo stayed even over the last hurdle before Warholm eased ahead and won in 47.30 with Benjamin at 47.37 to set up a historic final showdown.

Kenny Selmon (Mableton, Georgia / USATF Georgia) was fifth coming off the curve into the homestretch in semi two and moved up one place to fourth with a 48.58. In lane nine with no one to follow in the final semi, David Kendziera (Chapel Hill, North Carolina / USATF North Carolina) sprinted to the lead through hurdle three and stayed in contention for the next five hurdles before dropping back slightly and placing third in 48.67. Neither man moved on to the final.

Full session results are available on the World Athletics website. The next session begins at 8:00 P.M. ET with the Men’s Hammer Throw qualifying round. Fans in the U.S. can watch here via NBC properties.  

Stay up-to-date by following USATF on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok and using the hashtag #TeamUSATF.

Saunders silver in women’s shot put highlights morning session on day 3

TOKYO -- 25-year-old Raven Saunders won the first individual event medal of the Tokyo Olympic Games for Team USATF, and ten more athletes advanced to the next round in their events during the morning session of day three at Olympic Stadium.

On demand coverage of this session’s events will be available via NBC Olympics.

Women’s Shot Put final

Rio fifth-place finisher Saunders (Tuscaloosa, Alabama / USATF South Carolina) had the best series of her career and became only the third American woman ever to medal at the Olympic Games, taking silver with her fifth-round 19.79m/64-11.25. Saunders blasted her fifth-best throw ever to open the competition, landing the steel ball at 19.65m/64-5.75, and then followed up with a massive foul that was well over 20m. In round three she almost matched her first mark with a 19.62m/64-4.5.

Going into the final three rounds in silver position she reached 19.49m/63-11.5 on her fourth attempt before unleashing the throw that clinched her first senior global championship medal. Her final effort was also a foul past 20m, but Saunders reveled in joining 2016 gold medalist Michelle Carter and 1960 bronze medalist Earlene Brown in the elite club of U.S. medalists. Trials champion Jessica Ramsey (Boynton Beach, Florida / USATF Florida) had three fouls and did not receive a mark.

Women’s 3,000m Steeplechase 1st round

Rio bronze medalist and 2017 world champion Emma Coburn (Boulder, Colorado / USATF Colorado) stayed near the front of the lead pack over the first few laps of heat one and then went with two other women as the lead trio established a notable gap on the rest of the field.

With 1,200m to go, the front three had a 10m lead over fourth and that margin only increased into the bell lap. Coburn was content to remain in the third automatic qualifying position on the final circuit, dropping back a bit as she safely cleared the last two barriers and finished in 9:16.91. Ahead of her, Winfred Yavi of Bahrain won in 9:10.80, the fastest first round time ever.

American record holder and 2017 world silver medalist Courtney Frerichs (Beaverton, Oregon / USATF Oregon) ran just off the shoulder of world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya through the first half of the second heat, with four other challengers in close proximity. Frerichs ran in lane two much of the way to avoid trouble at the barriers and with two laps left she pushed to the front and picked up the pace a tad. At the bell Frerichs had a gap of almost 10m and she held on to win in 9:19.34. Val Constien (Boulder, Colorado / USATF Colorado) made it three-for-three Americans advancing to the final, placing fourth in the final heat in 9:24.31 to go forward as a time qualifier.

Women’s Hammer Throw qualifying

As expected, all three American women qualified for the final, one of them automatically. After hitting 71.32m/234-0 on her first throw in flight A, Brooke Andersen (Manhattan, Kansas / USATF Inland Northwest) surpassed the automatic qualifying mark with a 74.00m/242-9 in round two to end her day early. Gwendolyn Berry (The Woodlands, Texas / USATF New York) saved her best effort for her final attempt in flight B, recording a 73.19m/240-1, and American record holder DeAnna Price (Carbondale, Illinois / USATF New York) made it to the final with a best of 72.55m/238-0

Men’s 400m 1st round

The top two finishers at the Trials advanced to the semifinal without trouble. Dominating heat three from the inside, Michael Cherry (Inglewood, California / USATF Southern California) won in 44.82 and looked like he had a lot left in the tank. After a speedy first 200m in the final heat, Trials champion Michael Norman (Sherman Oaks, California / USATF Southern California) shifted into middle gear and was an easy second in 45.35.

NCAA champion and 2021 world leader Randolph Ross (Burlington, North Carolina / USATF North Carolina) was in lane nine of heat two and had a lot of ground to make up coming off the final turn. After pushing into third with 15m left, he appeared to ease off just a bit and ended up fourth in 45.67, missing out on advancing to the semifinal.

Women’s Long Jump qualifying

Collegiate record holder and double NCAA champion Tara Davis (Agoura Hills, California / USATF Southern California) was one and done, sailing out to 6.85m/22-5.75 in round one to better the automatic advancement mark. In the same flight, 2012 Olympic champion Brittney Reese (Chula Vista, California / USATF San Diego-Imperial) needed two tries to top the auto standard, spanning 6.52m/21-4.75 in round one and then 6.86m/22-6.25 in the next stanza to join Davis in the final. Quanesha Burks (Baton Rouge, Louisiana / USATF Southern) had a best of 6.56m/21-6.25 and did not advance.

Full session results are available on the World Athletics website. The next session begins at 6:10 A.M. ET with the Men’s High Jump final. Fans in the U.S. can watch here via NBC properties. 

Stay up-to-date by following USATF on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok and using the hashtag #TeamUSATF.