With his season’s best 45.54 dash, Alleyne Francique of Grenada became just the second man to successfully defend a World Indoor title.
“It was my race and of course I have to be satisfied that I was able to defend my title,” said Francique, who fourth at the 2004 Olympic Games. “I just ran as I wanted and as I planned. This gives me more motivation for the Commonwealth Games.”
Francique, beginning in lane four, ran steadily for the first 150 metres before making his break into the lead as he reached the bell. Milton Cambell, the American champion and two-time World Indoor silver medallist, followed, along with Bahamian Olympian Chris Brown. Firmly holding his ground, Francique’s lead was never challenged. The only other two-time winner was American Antonio McKay, who won back-to-back titles in 1987 and 1989.
California Molefe, in fourth position midway through the backstretch, first passed American Milton Campbell down the homestraight before edging past Brown in the final three strides to collect the silver, his first international medal. The 25-year-old from Botswana clocked 45.75, just ahead of Brown’s 45.78 national record.
Davian Clarke of Jamaica, the silver medallist two years ago in Budapest, was fourth with a season’s best 45.93, ahead of Campbell (46.15). Russian Dmitriy Petrov, competing in his first international final, was sixth in 47.33.