ATHENS (ABP) — Jeremy Wariner, a junior at Baylor University, ran a personal best 44.00 to win the gold medal in the 400 meters and lead the United States to a sweep in the event at the Olympic Games Aug. 23.
Americans Otis Harris and Derrick Brew completed the 1-2-3 finish in the race, with Harris coming in second at 44.16 and Brew taking third at 44.42.
Wariner, from Grand Prairie, Texas, follows in the footsteps of former Baylor student and current 400-meter world record holder Michael Johnson. Both men were coached by the legendary Clyde Hart, who is entering his 43rd year as head track and field coach at Baylor, the largest Baptist university in the world.
“It's an incredible feeling. I ran just like I was supposed to, like Coach Hart wanted me to,” Wariner said. “I didn't get the lead right away, but I worked the turn better than I have all year. Now I'm just going to look forward to the [4 by 400] relay and see if we can bring home some more gold medals.”
Wariner became the first sprinter in history to sweep every 400-meter title in a single year, winning the indoor and outdoor NCAA championships, the U.S. championship and the Olympic gold medal.
Baylor athletes have now won the last three Olympic 400-meter titles, with Johnson taking gold in 1996 and 2000. Johnson ran a 43.18 for the world record in Seville, Spain, in 1999 and ran a 43.49 for the Olympic record in Atlanta in 1996.
“He ran a perfect race. That's what we've been working for all year, and he's earned it,” Hart said. “To have a [Baylor runner] win gold three Olympics in a row, I'm not sure if that's ever been done before.”