AUSTRALIA’S men’s 4x400m relay team, led by Steven Solomon, took a giant leap forward in their development at the World Relay Championships in Yokohama last weekend, just one year out from the 2020 Olympic Games to be held in nearby Tokyo.
In heat 1 on May 11, up against heavyweights the USA, Jamaica, Britain, the Czech Republic and Italy, the Aussies achieved their quickest relay time in six years – 3.03.53 – to finish fourth and qualify for the final.
After the heat, Solomon paid credit to his teammates Alex Beck, Tyler Gunn and Murray Goodwin for laying a great platform for him to run the final leg to seal a new team PB.
“I got checked a couple of times during that race … but the boys set me up so well, and I was happy with the way I came around that [last] curve, and really fought hard down that home straight to secure that top four [placing],” Solomon said.
“I’m just so proud of the guys.”
In the final, won by Trinidad and Tobago after leaders team USA were disqualified for a lane violation at the finish line, the Aussies finished seventh in 3:05.59. It was enough to book their place for the 2019 Athletics World Championships to be held in Doha from late September.