American Michael Norman wins world 400m gold

EUGENE (United States) – American Michael Norman (picture) made up for a disappointing fifth-placed finish at the Tokyo Olympics by winning the world 400m gold in Eugene on Friday.

Norman, who failed to advance from semi-finals in the Doha worlds in 2019 with a thigh injury, clocked a winning time of 44.29 seconds.

Three-time Olympic medallist and 2011 world champion Kirani James of Grenada claimed silver with 44.68sec, while Briton Matthew Hudson-Smith took bronze (44.66).

World record holder Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa, who set the record of 43.04sec when winning gold at the Rio Olympics, finished fifth in 44.97sec.

A serious knee injury saw Van Niekerk take a three-year hiatus from the sport and the result is testament to his slow, but committed comeback.

“As the world record holder, this is where I belong,” the South African said.

“This is what I need to fight for. I need to make sure that I do whatever it takes to patiently get myself back to the place where I belong and that is on the podium.

“Fifth this time around, so I am working definitely towards the goal. Hopefully next time, I am on the podium.”

Bahamian star Steven Gardiner, the reigning world and Olympic 400m champion, was a notable absentee from Eugene, missing the worlds because of an inflamed tendon. – AFP