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Wariner sets personal best to win 400 title

12 August 2005
www.yahoo.com

Jeremy Wariner takes a victory lap after winning the 400 meters. (Kirby Lee/The Sporting Image) Jeremy Wariner takes a victory lap after winning the 400 meters. (Kirby Lee/The Sporting Image)
www.trackshark.com
American Jeremy Wariner confirmed his status as the top one-lap sprinter after racing away to gold in the 400 meters at the world championships on Friday in a personal best time.

The Olympic champion ran a perfect race, easing ahead on the bend and pulling away from the field down the home straight, to win in 43.93 for the fastest time in the world this year.

Compatriot Andrew Rock finished strongly to overtake a tiring Tyler Christopher and take silver in a personal best of 44.35.

Christopher, Canada's first finalist in the event, held on for third place in a national record of 44.44.

Wariner's victory was his first time under 44 seconds and the 21-year-old was ecstatic to have broken the barrier.

"I wouldn't say it felt like it was sub 44 but when I finally saw the clock I realized it was and I was excited," said Wariner.

"I've been waiting for that time to come and now I've got it I've got to look forward.

"For future plans maybe I will try the 200 meters in a few years but the 800 meters doesn't fit into my plans."

Drawn in the middle three lanes, Wariner, Christopher and Darold Williamson of the U.S. went out quickly.

Williamson, a medal favorite, was the first to fade and he eventually came seventh. By comparison his friend and training partner Wariner was strong through to the finish.

The champion paid tribute to Clyde Hart who also coached world record holder Michael Johnson, now Wariner's agent.

"Hart is a great coach. I'm fortunate to have him, especially with him being 72 years old.

"He's been in the game for long enough. You'd think he'd want to retire but he's enjoying it right now," Wariner said.

Johnson won four 400 world titles and set the world record of 43.18 at the Seville championships in 1999.

The 2003 world champion Jerome Young of the U.S. did not defend his title in Helsinki after being given a lifetime ban for doping last year.


By Alison Wildey



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