16 SEP 2006 General News

Men's 400m

LaShawn Merritt (USA), in Lane One, and Gary Kikaya (AFR - Cod) made this a two-man race all the way, and a thriller. They came into the home stretch literally as well as figuratively side by side and it wasn't until the final 30 metres that Merritt slowly drew away to ahead to win by a metre, 44.54 to 44.66.

Merrit said, "Today I understand how those felt who competed at the 2004 Olympics. The crowd was amazing and it helped me a lot. My strategy was to have a fast pace in the first 200; it was difficult because I was running in Lane One."

Kikaya, disappointed because he felt he was the favourite, said, "I'm physically and mentally tired. I'll be back for the relay tomorrow, and next year I hope to live up to expectations."

James Dunaway