Aug. 23, 2004
ATHENS, Greece -
Baylor junior Jeremy Wariner (Grand Prairie, Texas) 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 Monday at Olympic Stadium.
"It's an incredible feeling - I ran just like I was supposed to, like Coach (Clyde) 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 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. Wariner's time ranks him eighth all-time in the event and eclipses the Baylor record of 44.21 set by world and Olympic record holder and two-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson.
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. In addition, the United States has won the last six gold medals in the event.
There is also a common thread between Wariner and Johnson in legendary coach Clyde Hart, who is entering his 43rd year as Baylor's head track and field coach.
"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."
Americans Otis Harris and Derrick Brew completed the 1-2-3 finish with Harris coming in second at 44.16 and Brew taking third at 44.42. Pre-Olympic gold-medal favorite Alleyne Francique of Grenada finished fourth at 44.66.
The final will be shown on tape delay on NBC between 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. CDT Monday. There will also be a watch party held at Damon's in the Hilton Hotel starting at 7 p.m.
OLYMPIC 400 METER FINAL
Jeremy Wariner (USA) 44.00
Otis Harris (USA) 44.16
Derrick Brew (USA) 44.42
Alleyne Francique (Grenada) 44.66
Brandon Simpson (Jamaica) 44.76
Davian Clarke (Jamaica) 44.83
Leslie Djhone (France) 44.94
Michael Blackwood (Jamaica) 45.55