Paris, the city known the world over for love and romance, was anything but that today to LaShawn Merritt. Jeremy Wariner (43.86) showed no love for new rival LaShawn Merritt (44.35), in a race that Wariner dominated every aspect of the race except the start.
Today, Wariner ran a bold and daring race strategy that has become his trademark as he broke 44 seconds for the second time this outdoor season. With 100 meters to go, Wariner was too much for Merritt, laying on his kick and opening up a blow out win over Merritt down the homestretch.
You knew it wouldn't take very long before the times starting dropping. Over the last month, as the media has been writing about what is wrong with Wariner, I have been curious what the race would look like when the times dipped under 44 seconds. Today, we got a great show as to what that race looks like.
The three previous races between Wariner and Merritt have been in Merritt's comfort zone, ranging anywhere from 44 flat to 44.5, and today, the stakes were raised--literally. This latest development in the 400-meter rivalry is far from over. Merritt will go back and analyze his race today and come back firing in the next race and in Beijing. That is the beauty of this sport.
Did Dayron Robles even touch a hurdle today? He ran like a beast, crossing the line in 12.88 - just a hair off his current World Record of 12.87 which he set earlier in the season. The Cuban hurdler won because of his technical precision.
Can anyone catch Pamela Jelimo? She ran 1:54.97, nearly 4 seconds ahead of the next fastest 800-meter runner.
In the women's 200, Sanya Richards (22.56) pulled out an upset victory over Muna Lee (22.59), who won the 100-meters and placed second in the 200 (21.99) at the U.S Olympic Trials less than two weeks ago. The winning time was not impressive, but racing is about winning, so it was a good win for Richards in that respect, especially considering the 400 is her specialty event.
Is the U.S. setting up to run a 400-meter hurdle sweep in Beijing? Today, three American 400-meter hurdlers ran under 49-seconds. Kerron Clement (48.43) is on a tear winning his second straight race since losing to Bershawn "Batman" Jackson at the Olympic Trials earlier this month. Clement won, because he ran with reckless abandonment over Angelo Taylor (48.91), and "Batman" in fourth place with (48.92).
By Jay Hicks.