16 SEP 2006 General News

Men's 400m Hurdles

As the nine starters came off the first turn, L.J. Van Zyl (AFR-RSA) and tall (1.98) Norman Keita (FRA) were in the lead. Coming into the second turn, World Leader Kerron Clement (USA) began to move up, as they cleared the eighth barrier, Clement, Van Zyl and Marek Plawgo (EUR-POL) were virtually even.

Van Zyl and Clement pulled away and the South African had a slight lead coming off the tenth and final hurdle. But Clement’s 44.57 flat speed proved decisive on the run-in as he crossed the finish line two metres ahead of VanZyl, 48.12 to 48.35. Plawgo saved third in 48.76, just head of the fast-finishing Kemel Thompson (AME-JAM).

Said winner Clement, who is still learning the event, “I’m excited for the first place and the 9 points for the USA. I ran very well and I am very satisfied.”  Van Zyl said, “It was a very long season and I am so tired now. It was a very difficult race.”

James Dunaway