Fred Kerley, Athletics Australia, Maurie Plant Meet, Continental Tour Gold series 2023, Rohan Browning


The fastest man in the world is set to slip his spikes on and unleash in Australia.

The USA’s Fred Kerley, the reining 100m world champion, is entered in the 200m at Melbourne’s inaugural Maurie Plant Meet, scheduled for the night of February 23 at Lakeside Stadium.

He’ll square off with ”The Flying Mullet”, Australian cult hero Rohan Browning.

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Athletics Australia had hoped to attract box-office athletes down under after the Maurie Plant Meet joined the Continental Tour Gold series, which is one rung below the Diamond League series.

The event, named in honour of Australian athletics stalwart Maurie Plant, will offer $200,000 in prizemoney and higher world ranking points than its predecessor, the Melbourne Track Classic.

The upgrade has enticed Kerley to enter the Peter Norman Memorial 200m.

“I am excited to start my season in Australia and I will also use this as a training base for the upcoming season,” the 27-year-old Kerley said.

“I have competed in all the other continents and I am excited to get the opportunity to compete in Australia.

“Also, it is nice to open my season with the 200m because I got injured in the 200m semi-finals at the world championships.

“All in all, I am excited to come and show my talent to the Australian people.”

Kerley has a 100m personal best of 9.76 seconds, 200m PB of 19.76 and 400m PB of 43.64.

He pipped fellow American Marven Bracey for gold in last year’s world championships 100m, which followed a silver-medal run behind Italy’s Lamont Jacobs in the Tokyo Olympics 100m.

The 25-year-old Browning, who will join fellow Australians Calab Law and Aidan Murphy in the 200m, hyped up the showdown.

“Let’s just say that if I was a Melbourne-based sports fan, I wouldn’t be missing this,” Browning said.

“Hopefully the big match-ups will draw big crowds.

“Any ‘fit’ parent in Melbourne will be taking their kids to Lakeside (Stadium) on the evening of the 23rd of February!”

Browning has a 200m PB of 20.71, Law 20.42 and Murphy 20.41.

Law said he was thrilled to face Kerley at Albert Park.

“It gives us more exposure to the rest of the world and he is the best in the world at the moment, so it’s going to be fun,” the 19-year-old Law said.

“We get to measure our speed against him and I will be doing everything I can to beat him.

“It’s just such a great opportunity for athletes at my stage of development to get to run against the best sprinter in the world.”

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