'Running 43 now feels normal' - Steven Gardiner

By May 15, 2018
Bahamian Steven Gardiner says running 43s now feels normal to him Bahamian Steven Gardiner says running 43s now feels normal to him

On August 6, 2017, Bahamian Steven Gardiner broke the 44-second barrier for the first time.

It came in the semi-final of the 400 metres at the IAAF World Championships in London and was a new national record and the first time a Bahamian had broken through into that hallowed ground for 400 metre runners.

“It was a lot of pain, I didn’t know if I had anything left for the final but I did have a little more to go,” he recalled.

He was unable to replicate the performance in the finals and was forced to settle for the silver medal in 44.41s, yielding to Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk whose winning time (43.98) was actually slower than Gardiner’s semi-final run.

Fast forward nine months to May 4, 2018, when Gardiner unleashed a new personal best and world-leading time of 43.87s at the Diamond League season-opener in Doha. A week later it was more of the same in Shanghai when he disposed of a quality field that included Commonwealth Games champion Isaac Makwala to another sub-44 clocking, 43.99s.

Gardiner now has the two fastest times in the world this year and is the only man to break 44 seconds so far this year.

”Running 43s consistently now feels normal to me now,” he told SportsMax.TV Tuesday from his Florida base after arriving from Shanghai on Monday night. “(The) first time I ran sub-44 was a body shocker. I’ve gotten stronger and a bit more foot speed but nothing else has really changed, I just had to run it once to get that groove.”

He credits going heavier in the gym for much of that improvement and now looks forward to the rest of the season even though he is still undecided how many more 400s he will run for the remainder of this season.

“I'll be doing 200m and 400m this season but once my coach and I come to an agreement it would be one of the two events but as of right I now cannot confirm,” said Gardiner who has run 19.75s this season.

Should he be in another semi-final this year where he runs 43, chances are another will follow in the final.

 

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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