12 JUL 2003 General News

Men 400m Hurdles Youth Final

American Jason Richardson realised his goal of completing an unprecedented 110m and 400m hurdle double at a major championship.

The staggering achievement, which required the stylish hurdler to race five times in three days – including twice in 45 minutes on Friday, was an outstanding achievement.

American Jerry Tarr was number one in the world for the 100m hurdles in 1962 and number four for the 400m hurdles but nobody has matched Richardson’s accomplishments.

The talented 17-year-old Texan, who believes a healthy mind is as important as a healthy body and has already attracted interest from the esteemed higher education institution Havard University, was always in control of mind and body.

In very much a repeat of the 110m hurdles final Richardson trailed with two hurdles remaining but such is his self confidence and supreme ability by the finish line he had won by almost a full second in 49.91 – just five hundredths outside of the world best performance set by South African Marthinus Kritzinger in the inaugural IAAF World Youth Championships.

The long-time leader South African Wouter Le Roux had to settle for silver in a personal best of 50.85. Indeed, in a top quality final six men all registered the quickest times of their lives.

Richardson’s team-mate Jamaal Charles kicked hard off the final hurdle to overhaul Japan’s Go Tanabe for bronze with 51.48 to 51.58.

But this was all about Jason Richardson surely a name for the future and one of the big superstars of these third IAAF World Youth Championships.

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