Solomon returns to world stage

Steven Solomon made his return to World Championships athletics on August 5 in the men’s 400m in London, and is now turning his attention to the Commonwealth Games and US college athletics. Photo: Duke University

TAKING his mark for Australia in the men’s 400m heats at the World Athletics Championships in London on August 5 was a milestone moment in the context of Steven Solomon’s running career.

It was the Jewish athlete’s first appearance at an international meet representing his country since the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

He’d only nailed a world championships qualifying time – 45.19 seconds – in June at the Tracktown Summer Series in California.

So the 2012 Olympic Games finalist soaked it in, enjoyed training with his Australian teammates again, ran his heart out and did not let his early exit worry him.

In typical fashion, the 24-year-old Sydney native took his seventh place finish and time of 46.27 – one second behind heat winner and 2016 Olympic Games champion Wayde Van Niekerk – in his stride.

He’d started strongly and was still in the mix at the start of the final bend, but then faded.

He came 38th out of 52 overall.

Although disappointed with the result, Solomon is in high spirits and is using the experience as motivation for better things to come, including reaching his peak in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which will be held in the Gold Coast in April.

“I gave everything I had, but today, that was not enough,” Solomon said after his heat.

“I’m thankful for another injury free season.

“I’m happy, I’m healthy, and I’m ready to start preparing for the Commonwealth Games.

“Thank you [to everyone] for all the wonderful support.”

In other good news, he will be running for Duke University’s athletics team in the US College circuit, and will begin a Masters degree in management at the North Carolina-based college later this month.

Solomon last represented Stanford University, where he completed his undergraduate studies.

SHANE DESIATNIK