Despite appearing to falter before the last two hurdles, USA’s Kerron Clement won the final of the 400 metres hurdles in a Championships record time of 48.51 seconds.
Running in lane six, Johnson was slow out of the blocks, with his compatriot Brandon Johnson in lane 2 looking the fastest of the pack through to the 200 metre mark, where he was running head to head with Louis van Zyl from South Africa, the defending champion. Close behind them came Ibrahim Al-Hamaidi from Saudi Arabia.
Then Trinidadian-born Clement shook the lead out of his size-14 spikes and powered into the lead. Even his hesitation before the last two hurdles failed to slow his advance sufficiently to allow Brandon to overtake him and his compatriot had to settle for second place with a new PB of 48.62, ahead of Al-Hamaidi who set a new Area Junior Record with his time of 48.94 seconds.
The defending champion, van Zyl, came home fifth in a season’s best 49.06, 7 hundredths than his winning time in Kingston in 2002.