WITH time ticking away to qualify for next month’s Athletics World Championships in London, Australia’s Steven Solomon secured his selection last week by running his fastest 400m race since the 2012 Olympic Games final.
The 45.50 seconds standard qualifying time for the Worlds had evaded the Sydney-born, US-based Jewish athlete all year, including at the Australian Championships in April, which he won in a disappointing time, by his standards, of 46.66.
But at the Tracktown Summer Series at Palo Alto, California on June 29, Solomon, 24, executed his race plan perfectly to win in 45.19, with his parents watching on from the stands.
“This is one of the races that I’ll remember forever,” Solomon said, revealing it “became the meet that I was targeting over the last month”.
“I’ve finally been able to produce what I knew I was capable of doing. It means that I have now qualified.”
Solomon, who last month graduated in human biology at Stanford University, never lost confidence in his ability. As guest speaker at the Maccabi NSW awards dinner earlier this year, he’d said “I believe my fastest races are ahead of me”.
Solomon credits his return to form to his US-based coach PattiSue Plumer who “was really encouraging me to do this race”, and to his long-time coach Iryna Dvoskina from the Australian Institute of Sport.
“She [Dvoskina] is one of my biggest sources of motivation and mentorship,” Solomon said.