Steven Gardiner reveals Doha 400m gold was for his country and he hungers for more success

By April 14, 2020

Steven Gardiner, the 2019 400m world champion, said he was motivated to do his best in Doha for the sake of the people in his home country, The Bahamas, who were devastated by Hurricane Dorian. and now that he has won gold, he wants more.

Packing winds of more than 185 mph, Dorian slammed into the Bahamas on August 24, 2019, and remained over the islands until September 10, just about two weeks before the start of the World Championships in Doha.

It eventually left behind damage estimated at more than USD$3 billion and hundreds dead on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama in what was the worst natural disaster to hit those islands.

Speaking on the World Athletics podcast, the lanky Bahamian, who lives and trains in Florida, said it was a difficult period.

“When the storm came it was a very hard time for me. I didn’t get to train for four days because my family, I couldn’t hear word from them and I just didn’t know what to do, but my coach, he was the main person encouraging me,” said Gardiner, who also revealed that his coach helped him determine whether his family was safe or not.

“There were like some safe lists on the internet. Everybody who is safe from the storm, at a shelter or something they would put their name on the list so he was helping me look through the lists, trying to call their cell phones, reach out to them…as soon as I heard from them I went right back to work.”

With his worries eased, Gardiner said he received messages from friends and family back home that served to motivate him as he set about the task of becoming world champion. “I wanted to give them more than my best. I wanted to give them everything I had and that’s what I did in bringing home the gold medal for them,” he said.

On the night of October 4, 2019, mere weeks after Dorian had destroyed sections of his home country, Gardiner won the 400m in impressive fashion.

Running a measured race up the 200m mark, the soft-spoken Bahamian unleashed his full power to pull away from the field and win in a new national record of 43.48s, the sixth-fastest time in history.

Anthony Zambrano of Colombia was second in a new personal best and Area Record of 44.15 while Fred Kerley of the United States, the pre-race favourite, finished third in 44.17.

The victory, he said, has whet his appetite for more success.

“I just wanted to go out there and give of my best and bring home a medal, to bring home the gold medal was the icing on the cake and it’s something that I want to do again,” he said.

The race featured four other Caribbean athletes that included 2011 World Champion Kirani James from Grenada, Machel Cedenio of Trinidad and Tobago as well as Akeem Bloomfield and Demish Gaye from Jamaica.





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 he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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