Podcast Podcast, Season 3, Episode 8: Fred Kerley on being the fastest man in the world

5 min

The reigning champion in the 100 meters talks about staying positive, soaking up pressure, and overcoming adversity.

There are moments when time stands still. Moments where you find yourself on the verge of greatness. Moments that stand the test of time. The Edge is a series of conversations where extraordinary people tell intimate stories of one moment that changed everything for them. A world record, a world championship, an epiphany, a life-changing decision. They relive their moments, minute by minute. How they overcame pressure, fear, pain and pushed themselves to the limit. To The Edge.

Our guest this time is Fred Kerley. Reigning champion in the 100 meters and as we speak, the fastest man in the world. Fred took the world of athletics by storm, first in the 400 meter races, and most recently in the 100 meters. He is one of three men to go sub-10 seconds in 100 meters, sub-20 seconds in 200 meters and sub-44 seconds in 400 meters.

Speaking to us while he is preparing for the World Athletics Championship 2023, Fred reveals how he stays motivated, what pushes him to break records, and what ‘the fastest man in the world’ tag means to him. He also takes us through his training and pre-race preparations, and highlights his upcoming goals, including being the Olympic champion in 2024. Presented by your host Teo Van Den Broeke, this is The Edge, a podcast by TAG Heuer.

To listen to the entire podcast, type “The Edge TAG Heuer” into the search bar of your podcast application:

Our aim? To become the source of inspiration you need each month to help you exceed your limits.

Attention: Only have a minute?

Here are a few snippets to put you on the starting line and get the adrenaline pumping. But don’t forget to subscribe to our Podcast so you can listen to the full, unfiltered episode later. The Edge is a series of conversations with extraordinary people operating at the edge of possibility. It’s about the thin line between taking part and tipping into victory; it’s about what gives us our edge and what we can do to go beyond it.

What it feels like to be the fastest man in the world

That status feels wonderful. Everybody’s gunning for you. [You’ve got] the target on your back, and you’ve got to make sure you shake it down and keep on going.

On how to push yourself and stay motivated

First and foremost, you’ve got to have the right people around you, from your agent to your coach to the people at the house. You’ve got to stay disciplined. It’s one of the most important things about track and field. Discipline, and staying healthy. Make sure you’ve got your body right and make sure you get down to business every time you step out on the track.

What it takes to stay disciplined

Stay away from negative people and have a positive mindset around you week in, week out. Because if you have a negative mindset, negative things will happen to you on the track.

On positivity

I cut plenty of people out since I left school and ever since I’ve moved away from Texas and moved to Arizona, it’s just been a work up. Me moving to Arizona is basically bringing brand new energy to my life. Basically, [being] positive always wins the day. If you stay positive, positive things come to you.

  • Fred Kerley visiting our Manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland

His greatest inspiration

The biggest inspiration in my life has got to be my aunt. She adopted me and my brothers and sisters, while she had kids of her own. And then she adopted more kids. We’re all cousins now. So she is my inspiration, why I keep on going, because she gave me a new life when I was young. And that’s why I’m in this position, talking to you right now.

Soaking up pressure

I don’t got no rituals, or none of that stuff. It’s just being calm, being with myself because I know what I’m capable of doing. But the people that, I would say commentate, they just don’t know [what it’s like]. Pressure, pressure, pressure. They don’t know what I’ve been through to go and try to achieve that gold medal.

Fred’s thoughts after crossing the finish line

First and foremost, ‘Did I win?’ Alright, I’ve won. The next thing, I look at the time. Is it a fast time or a slow time? What will my coach say about what I could do better the next time? And then I do the media stuff and go get warmed up. Then I go to talk to the coach or my agent and see what I can do next time to be even better than I was this time.

Believe in your ability

Believe in the people around you. Believe in your ability because there’s going to be naysayers that say you can’t do this or ‘Oh, you’re not like this person’. Just keep on believing in yourself and keep on believing in your ability because only you know what you are capable of doing.