Watch out world.
The future of 400 meter running is here.
Van Neikerk may have some company.
With Merritt and Kirani looking iffy this year, Makwala gone AWOL, Rusheen MacDonald being a clear flash in the pan and Yousef al Masrahi getting popped for PEDs, Kerley is in a prime position to be one of the big names in the sport if he can hang with Wayde.
We'll see for now. He's had a long season.
I wouldn't count Merritt or Kirani out just yet; it's still awfully early. Merritt did run 44.7 in Doha I think. Neither has put up their usual early-season 44-low this year, but I'd still count on both being in sub-44 shape come August.
But man are you right about McDonald. I looked him up and in 2015 his best times were 43.98, 44.6, 44.73, 44.84, 44.86, and 45.04; other than 45.1 in 2012 those are his only times under 45.2 (his season-best in 2016, '14 and '13)
There are quite a few other names to watch (or keep watching), let's not forget:
Times all from last year.
Cedinio 44.01, 21 yrs old
Thebe 44.22, 20 yrs old ... and 44.89 this year, in March
Sibanda 44.25, 19 yrs old
Ali Khamis Khamis 44.36, 21 yrs old
Taplin 44.38, 25 yrs old
Then Gardiner with 44.26 already this year, Santos at 44.11 in 2015 (bad year last year though), another Qatari Haroun with 44.26 in 2015 (at La chaux de fonds, however) and 44.86 last year, who is still only 20 I think.
And of course I have to mention Makwala. He did run at the World Relays, first leg both times, although he didn't look very good to me (like their weakest guy, even counting the 4th dude I've never heard of). Also he just ran 44.92 in Francistown (elevation 1001m) two weeks ago. It's weird that I feel like he is likely past his prime already, even though his breakout year was only back in 2014. I'll admit he is usually only good for a strong 300m (followed by a terrible fade on the homestretch) ... everywhere but La Chaux de Fonds that is.
However, 43.7 with second place well over 1 sec back is on another level. Too bad Kerley will most likely be way past his peak by August, if he can make it to (until?) London.
The 400 is definitely one of the more exciting events to follow right now.