Marvin Bracey spent nearly three years of his track career in an unsuccessful attempt to make the NFL a wide receiver.
But the former Boone High School football/track speedster never stopped believing he could be one of the fastest men in the world. He proved just that with Saturday’s silver medal performance in the 100 meter dash at the World Championships in Track and Field in Eugene, Oregon.
Bracey, 28, nearly struck gold. The 2016 Olympian clocked a time of 9.88-seconds to finish second, two-hundredth, ahead of champion Fred Kerle (9.86).
“I thought I won. Fred is a helluva finisher. He got me,” Bracey said in a phone interview with Sentinel on Monday.
Training partner Trayvon Brommel of Bracey’s Jacksonville Tumbleweed Track Club matched his 9.88 times for third in a photo finish as the US won a World Athletics Championships or Olympic event for the first time since Carl Lewis, Leroy Burrell and Dennis Mitchell’s 1st. Won medals. -2-3 in 1991.
“To step away from my game, come back and get the job done, it means the world to me,” Bracey said. “It’s everything I sacrificed for. We got a sweep and I ran fast in a very high-level race.”
Bracey reached the Olympic semi-finals in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with 10.08 times. A hamstring injury at the US Trials denied him a 2020 Olympic berth.
Prior to that he was mostly famous for his quick start as a four-time national indoor champion in the short 60-metre dash. He was a world silver medalist at that distance in 2014 prior to his 2017–19 football campaign. Saturday’s performance proved he could keep pace over the long haul in a race against the best in the world.
“The track and field community respects outdoor events a lot,” admitted Bracey. “To come out on the global stage in America, and run the 100 meters and come close to winning it all. … It’s so big. It puts me at the top level of sprinting.”
He will get more chances to prove it and collect more prize money at the upcoming European conferences.
“Now it’s about building on it,” Bracey said. “I know I was a hundredth of a second from winning. We’ll do the things we need to work on and come back next year to win the world championships.
First he hopes to claim the gold medal in the 4×100 relay, which heats up on the Friday before Saturday night’s final as the championships continue.
Bracey has been making up for lost time since returning to the track and earning an endorsement deal with Nike.
“I came back with a different mindset,” he said. “I knew if I worked a little hard, I could be one of the best guys in the sport.”
He is not close to the end line of his career yet.
“I’ll keep running until the wheels fall off,” he said with a laugh. “Right now I’m young. There’s another world championship in 2023, the Olympics in 2024, and a world championship a year after that. I plan to go on until at least 2025, and then at some point I’ll be a full-time parent.
Bracey extended his last name on his social media accounts to include the last name of his father, Bracey-Williams Jr., who had been killed 18 years earlier. He did this to pass on the surnames of both his mother and father to his 4-year-old son, Marvin III.
Carey, the 2022 world leader with a personal best of 9.76, is the third consecutive American winner in the World Championship 100, when Jamaican sprinters won four in a row, including three won by world-record-holder Usain Bolt. Floridian Justin Gatlin won the Dash in 2017 and Christian Coleman won for America in 2019.
This story was first published in orlandosentinel.com, This includes content from wire services. The University can be reached by email at Content Editor Buddy Collings firstname.lastname@example.org,