Patiently waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce, Tyler Christopher took a commanding victory in the men’s 400m. In just his third competition of the year, the 24-year-old Canadian cruised to a 45.67 performance lowering his own 2008 world leader.
Sweden’s Johann Wissman and Chris Brown of The Bahamas, the bronze medallist two years ago, fought hard for position off the bend, with the Swede prevailing. But instead of relaxing, Brown kept pressing and Wissman kept responding, playing perfectly into the hands of the Canadian. As the pair in the front wore themselves out over the final backstraight, Christopher positioned himself perfectly for his closing sprint.
“The first lap was a very strong one to begin with,” said Christopher who took the lead ten strides from the finish. “They just wanted it a little bit more than I did and I let them have it while I was reserving my energy. I felt very confident and on the last lap I went for it.”
His was the first Canadian gold since Perdita Felicien’s 60m Hurdles victory in 2004, and the country’s seventh over all.
“I just wanted to get out fast and be in the lead after 200m and then try to keep my place,” Wissman said.
As a consolation, he managed to hold on for the silver while lowering his own national record to 46.04. Brown collected his second successive bronze, clocking 46.26, easily a season’s best.
Costa Rican record holder Nery Brenes was a distant fourth in his first World Championships appearance clocking 46.65, with Russian Maksim Dyldin (46.79) fifth and Australian Sean Wroe sixth (46.93).
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF