Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Young and Fast: Merritt Opens Strong

If anyone thinks that they have a reserved spot on the Team USA headed to Beijing they couldn’t be further from the truth. On Friday LaShawn Merritt ran the fastest 400-meters in the world this year with a time of 44.72 at the Raleigh Relays in Raleigh, NC on March 28. He started this season exactly where he left off last season: crazy fast.

Merritt bested Jeremy Wariner’s 44.82 to lead the list of world best 400-meter times.

The evolution of Merritt began last year at the world outdoor champions in Osaka. The 21-year-old, Virginia native finished second in 43.96 behind Jeremy Wariner, the winner in 43.45.

Merritt led at the 300-meter mark in Osaka last year with the world title on the line but couldn’t hold off Wariner’s late charge in the final 50 meters. Both athletes set personal bests in the race.

The young, explosive runner is arguably the sprinter with enough speed to disrupt Jeremy Wariner’s plans of winning back-to-back Olympic 400-meter titles. It will be telling how Merritt performs against reigning Olympic champion, Jeremy Wariner, in the races leading up to the Olympic Trials in July. Stay tuned this is must see television.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist

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