Its just what sports needs! Now if only boxing could get one.
Olympics: Track & Field NewsCool, calm Wariner leads U.S. sweep of
By BOB BAUM, AP Sports Writer
August 24, 2004
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Jeremy Wariner is just 20 years old. He just
led a U.S. sweep in the 400 meters at the Olympic Games.
So c'mon kid, get e***d!
Cool, calm and with a fluid running style all his own, the lean Baylor
University student raced to the gold medal Monday night wearing
sunglasses, two earrings and a jingling necklace. After crossing the
line, he waved a U.S. flag and embraced the teammates who finished
right behind him. But there was no massive show of emotion.
That's not his style.
``It hasn't sunk in yet,'' he said. ``I have a four-by-four relay I've
got to concentrate on. It's going to hit me in a couple of days but
I've got to get focused right now.''
So it was left to others to marvel at the talent exhibited by Wariner,
who outsprinted teammate Otis Harris down the stretch to win in a
personal-best 44 seconds flat, the fastest time in the world this
``I've never seen a white man run that fast,'' said Grenada's Alleyne
Francique, who was supposed to be Wariner's biggest threat but
finished fourth. ``It was a blazing race, man. The kid is good.''
Wariner has become accustomed to the race issue, as a rare white man
running sprints that traditionally have been dominated by blacks.
``It doesn't matter what race you are,'' Wariner said. ``It's just
ability. I've had a great coach, and he knows what he's doing.''
Harris, 22, was second in 44.16. Derek Brew, the old man of the U.S.
crew at 26, finished third in 44.42.
The United States has dominated the event since 1984, winning 13 of
the 18 medals in the last six Olympics. Americans also swept at the
1988 Seoul Games.
The three Americans hugged in the finish area, then began a slow
victory lap with three U.S. flags.
``We're definitely going to take the 400 meters back to where Michael
Johnson left off,'' Harris said. ``You know the young guys here are
definitely e***d about the future.''
Wariner has been tabbed the successor to Johnson, who ruled the 400
for more than a decade, still holds the world record of 43.18, and won
gold medals in the 1996 and 2000 games. Wariner even has Johnson's old
coach, Clyde Hart.
``I'm happy for Jeremy, but I'm so very happy for coach because I
think a lot of people didn't give him the credit he deserved,'' said
Johnson, who was in Athens as a commentator for the BBC. ``He's just
an incredible coach and it's because he's a teacher. He teaches
athletes how to run.''
The United States has won 18 of the 24 times the event has been held
in the Olympics, including four medal sweeps -- 1904, 1968, 1988 and