- June 10, 2018
- Posted by: Evelyn Watta
- Category: News
The real deal
Michael Norman is raising eyebrows, in more ways than one.
The 400m world indoor record holder has indicated he’s going pro after a stellar showing at the NCAA track and field championships in Eugene.
The 20-year-old became the sixth fastest runner ever in the 400m by breaking the collegiate record with a time of 43.61.
Only five men have run faster, but none of them had posted times similar to the American at his age.
After the greatest one-lap-performance in collegiate history the sophomore of the University of Southern California announced on Instagram:
“Thank you SC for all the opportunities you gave me. #gonebutneverforgotten”
In the moment
Norman is still unbeaten over 400m this season.
He was on level terms for the first 200m with Jamaican duo Akeem Bloomfield and Nathon Allen, both representing Auburn University, before pulling away in the closing 80m.
“I was very calm, controlling, composed throughout the whole race”, said Norman.
The conditions were far from ideal. The temperatures were chilly, and the track was wet, which brings up the question:
How fast could he run in perfect conditions? Rio Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk holds the world record with 43.03.
There are only five runners ahead of Norman on the world all-time list: Van Niekerk, Michael Johnson, Jeremy Wariner and Quincy Watts who have all won Olympic Gold. The fifth athlete, Butch Reynolds, was world indoor champion.
“I don’t think about the future or the past too much”, Norman said. “It’s about the present.”
— NCAA Track & Field (@NCAATrackField) June 9, 2018
World leading 400m hurdler Sydney McLaughlin is already one step ahead of Norman. The 18-year-old has confirmed she will be going pro after clinching her first NCAA title in the 400m hurdles with a time of 53.96.
“This was my last collegiate race, it’s (turning pro) definitely the next step that’s going to be happening,” the Rio 2016 semi-finalist said of her decision to leave school after her first year at the University of Kentucky.
The American had made headlines by qualifying for the Rio Games as a 16-year-old. She was eliminated in the semi-finals.
This May she improved her own world junior record, clocking 52.75 and proving, that the world record of 52.34 is within reach.