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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Steffensen says no to run off with Solomon

Steffensen says no to run off with Solomon

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1 Steffensen says no to run off with Solomon on Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:37 am



Steffensen to relay support

By Daniel Lane
The Sunday Age
July 22, 2012

JOHN Steffensen has ruled out challenging Australian Olympic teammate Steve Solomon to a duel to decide who should run the individual 400 metres event in London because he fears it could have a detrimental effect on the teenager's promising career.

Solomon was unwittingly dragged into the Steffensen furore when Athletics Australia announced it would nominate the world junior athletics bronze medallist for the event after he, like Steffensen, posted a B-standard qualifying time in the lead-up to London.

When The Sunday Age suggested to Steffensen that he and Solomon should settle the issue with a duel, the Athens 400-relay silver medallist and 2006 Commonwealth Games individual champion said that would violate his ethos to promote and nurture young up-and-coming athletes.

''I wouldn't do that to him,'' said Steffensen. ''I'd be going against encouraging the youth … I beat the kid all year … every time he raced against me I shook his world.

''In one race he came sixth and he came third in the nationals. No, I would never do that. That'd be the stupidest thing I could do. It would not help him [and] most importantly, as a senior, I have to be a role model and help him be the best he could be.

''I could handle [a race-off] mentally, but could he? It might not be good for him.''

Steffensen, who was named as the reserve for the individual 400 after a Twitter outburst last week, promised Solomon would receive his unconditional support should the 19-year-old get the nod to compete in the individual event.

''I have to support him,'' said Steffensen of Solomon, who only took up athletics 2½ years ago. ''If he runs the individual he's running for my country. I'd want to see him do well. There'd obviously be some reservation because I believe I should be running, but my anger is towards my federation and not towards Steve.

''All he did was run … for me to have any anger towards him would be very immature. I'd be there with him for his warm-up and right up until he goes out into that cauldron because he is going to need that [support].

''He's going to need someone of my age and experience to be there with him [to] do the best he possibly could for Australia. It would be great to see him do well.''

Solomon, who captained the Australian junior soccer team at the 2009 Maccabiah Games and who intends to study medicine at Stanford University after the Olympics, was picked for the individual 400 when his 45.52 seconds to seal the world junior athletics bronze medal in Barcelona was faster than any of Steffensen's times this season.

Steffensen said when he first learnt of Solomon's selection in the Olympic squad earlier this month it was his intention to pass on the baton and the tricks of the trade to an athlete earmarked as one of the future stars of the sport.

''I was excited to be teamed up with this young bloke in the relays so I could teach him things,'' Steffensen said. ''I couldn't wait to catch up with him and pass [my knowledge] on. I got a medal in 2004 and my career shot up from there … imagine what we could do if this kid gets a medal.''


ProTrack Star
ProTrack Star
Wow. Steffensen goes to new lengths to demonstrate just how full of himself he can be. That's an awful lot of certainty for a man running mid-46's.


His condescending crap is insulting to young Solomon.
Race Solomon now and Methinks Steffensen knows he might get a different result to the races last summer so he's avoiding any chance of a match race. JS should no be at the Olympics, he should have been tossed off the team after accusing the CEO of being a liar.

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