La Shawn Merritt is the Olympic champion. His run in Beijing was perfect for him, as he raced down the final straightaway and completed one of the greatest upsets in our sport. Now, facing off in Berlin, will be the Olympic 2008 champion, the Olympic 2004 champion, defending his 2007 World championships. La Shawn Merritt versus Jeremy Wariner-another of the great match ups slated for Berlin!
In Eugene, Jeremy Wariner focused on the 200 meters and LaShawn on the 400 meters. Here is LaShawn’s story:
The men’s 400 meter race was a very good field! The race got out well, with LaShawn taking control just about 200 meters, running a strong third one hundred meters and http://www.american-trackandfield.compushing around the final turn in control. Merritt ran a nice 44.50 on a very blustery day. Gil Roberts, who had run so well this season, ran a superb race here, staying out of trouble, and taking second in 44.93.
Kerron Clement, the 2007 World 400 meter hurdle champion, ran a blistering last 150 meters, to take third place in 45.14 from a hard charging Lionel Larry (45.40) and David Neville (45.49). Clement expressed his satisfaction at making the team, but noted: â€œIt went well. I kind of waited too late, the last 150 meters. Iâ€™m just really happy that I made the team.”
In speaking to LaShawn, who turned 23 on Saturday, June 27, this was a very, happy birthday present. ” I played it smart, I didnâ€™t want to race hard the whole way. Because I knew the wind, I ran in it these past two days. I got through it â€“ I got on the curve. Worked it and finished it.”
For LaShawn, who is a very grounded young man, he has to know that Jeremy Wariner this year is not the Wariner from 2008. In that case, both young men will have to be ready to race when they both hit Berlin, in August. For track geeks, we can not wait!
Kerron Clement is also showing himself, for the first time, to be a medal contender at the 400 meters. He could be very dangerous.
Men 400 Meter Dash
World: W 43.18 8/26/1999 Michael Johnson, USA
American: A 43.18 8/26/1999 Michael Johnson, Nike
Hayward: S 43.74 1993 Michael Johnson, USA
Name Year Team Finals
1 LaShawn Merritt Nike 44.50
2 Gil Roberts Texas Tech 44.93
3 Kerron Clement Nike 45.14
4 Lionel Larry adidas 45.40
5 David Neville Nike 45.49
6 Calvin Smith Florida 45.56
7 Darold Williamson Nike 45.74
8 Miles Smith unattached 46.09
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