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PROTRACK » GENERAL » 400m Sensation Solomon to race Angelo Taylor

400m Sensation Solomon to race Angelo Taylor

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1 400m Sensation Solomon to race Angelo Taylor on Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:58 pm



Taylor made challenge for Solomon

Sydney Track Classic Website
7 March 2011

The new kid on the block of Australian 400m running, Steve Solomon, will not just face Australia's best quarter-milers at the Sydney Track Classic, but one of the ten fastest men of all-time over the distance, with USAs Angelo Taylor today added to the event.

Taylor, better known for his exploits as a 400m hurdler, where he won Olympic gold medals in Sydney and Beijing, possesses a swift personal best on the flat of 44.05 seconds. He has won Olympic and world championship gold in the USA 4x400m team, as well as a individual bronze at the world championships in the 400m.

Taylor will have a busy program at the Sydney Track Classic, where he will also contest the 200m.

So far in his short career, 17-year-old Solomon has shown similar versatility as Taylor, racing successfully over the 400m hurdles as well as the flat. However, since focusing on the flat this domestic season, Solomon has improved considerably, first lowering his personal best to 46.44 seconds at the Australian All Schools in December, before shaving three more tenths of a second off the mark with a 46.12 second run to win the Melbourne Track Classic.

The performance was inspiring, with Solomon coming from behind in the last 30 metres of the race a falling past the line as he defeated Commonwealth Games silver medallist Sean Wroe and national champion Ben Offereins.

“You can't go into a race as if you're not going to win it,” Solomon said.

“I thought I'm in the race I might as well give myself the best chance of winning it and fortunately although the boys all ran great I guess it was my race tonight.”

A year 12 student at Cranbrook School, Solomon is unsure what his plans post domestic season.

“I vaguely considered world champs but year 12 is my primary goal to build a foundation for after athletics.”

With Taylor added to the field, which is in its final stages of being finalised, the event is one which virtually any athlete in the field has the opportunity to win on their day: Ben Offereins set the track alight a last year's Sydney Track Classic, setting the meet record of 44.84 seconds; Sean Wroe had his opening 400m of the year in Melbourne and will look to improve; and the colourful John Steffensen, who finished eighth in Melbourne hampered by stomach cramps, has shown time and again throughout his career that he cannot be ruled out of contention.

One would think that such a strong field would be a daunting prospect for Solomon, but he is remaining level headed about his success.

“I'm looking forward to running in Sydney. I have a very supportive family so it will be very special to compete in at my home track,” Solomon said.

Solomon dives at the line in the finish of the 400m at the Melbourne Track Classic.


Steve Solomon's journal on

Since the turn of the New Year, training has been full of peaks and troughs.

The year kicked off with a 10 day-training block at the Australian Institute of Sport, under Craig Hilliard. Here, my coach Fira and one of my training partners James Roff joined me. Over the 10 days, I lived the life of a full time athlete… Training two sessions a day… Recovery sessions…. Eating patterns the whole lot.

During my course at the AIS, I trained better then I had for a long time. The weather was flawless, something which always presents a threat in our nations capital. Thirty plus degrees every day made sprint training great. Being January, I was still undertaking much base training; hence my sessions were catered around aerobic work. Longer tempo work was at the core of most sessions.

One session is as follows:
300m- 37 sec
200m- 24 sec (All done at tempo)

With a longer break between, I completed two sets of this session. Raheen Williams partook in some of my session including this one, which was great. Training with mates is always a lot of fun.

Training in Canberra looked very much like the following:
DAY Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
AM Pilates Gym Track Gym REST Track Rest
PM Track Tempo Recovery Tempo REST Recovery Rest

Coming back from Canberra, training fell a touch. I guess you don’t fully understand the benefits of recovery sessions post every session until your don’t have them. The body caught up with the heavy training load from the previous weeks and began pulling up tight and sore after most sessions.

After running a 200m at the Hunter Track Classic, my right hamstring/ glut felt a sharp spark of pain when sprinting. This hindered training for a while, as I was unsure to why it was sore and what was accentuating the pain. I took a week off training after this, in hope that rest would relieve the pain.

It did to some degree, but I wasn’t completely satisfied that the problem had faded away. Eventually, and MRI cleared all suspicion, as I was given the all clear to run through the pain, as no damage was evident.

Next up was the Brisbane Track Classic. My first big race in the opens. Going into the race, all I wanted to do was run my own race. Not get carried away and blow out in the first half of the race. I was happy I was able to do this, and the result (4th with 47.03) was plausible for my first race of the season.

Next, the infamous Melbourne Track Classic. Training picked up well after Brisbane, and I knew I was capable of running fast. I had been hyping myself up for weeks, hoping that I would get a start. Once I received conformation of my lane, I was focused on running not only my race, but also a fast time.
The day could not have started any better. With FC Barcelona winning in the morning, extending their advantage of Real Madrid by 10 points and being dropped at the airport in a family friends new sports car, I knew I was in for a treat.

Positioned in lane two, I was fortunate that I had such quality runners on my outside. I could watch them the whole way, gauging where I was in respect to the rest of the field. The body felt great throughout the first two hundred, and I knew it was time to put the afterburners on. As I entered the home straight, I was feeling brilliant. Metre by metre, I began gaining on Ben and Sean. This catalysed newfound energy, which gave me that motivation to dig even deeper.

Fortunately for me, the race played out perfectly. I was on their inside, hence they did not know I was coming, and was able to pip the victory right at the end.

After the race, I was in a bit of shock, both from the tumble and of the result. I was totally ecstatic! My first opens win, and a new PB. To say I was’ over the moon’ would be a huge understatement.

With a new PB so early on in the season, I am very excited to see what the rest of the season has in store…

Stay tuned for my next blog, where I reflect on the Junior national Championships as well as the Sydney Track Classic.

Steve Solomon


Angelo Taylor to compete in Sydney Track Classic
By Mike Hurst
The Daily Telegraph
March 12, 2011

ANGELO Taylor, one of history’s greatest and most enduring athletes will compete in the Sydney Track Classic this month, but the two-time Olympic gold medallist’s presence may complicate life for quite a few local sprinters.

The powerfully-framed American won the 400m hurdles at the Sydney Olympics and again in Beijing where he clocked his personal best time of 47.25sec – faster even than some locals vying to take him on in the 400m flat sprint at Homebush on March 19.

Taylor’s versatility is legendary - he also won the bronze medal in the 400m sprint at the 2007 Osaka world championships and ran second leg for the US in their gold medal winning 4x400m relay in Beijing. On his best time of 44.05sec no one in Australian history was going to come close, but Australians racing in the Sydney 400m are staking their claims for a spot on the national 4x400m relay which has a history of winning medals.

This third visit to Sydney by Taylor – he first came to the Harbour City to win bronze in the 400m hurdles at the 1996 world junior championships – should help lift local performances but he has also taken a precious lane and that is problematic for most of the 20 contenders for a start in Sydney.

Athletics Australia’s competition manager Dave Gynther told The Daily Telegraph yesterday he is undecided as to whether to use all nine lanes on the circular track or the customary eight, but in any case he has already issued seven invitations – and glamour 400m figure John Steffensen is not among them.

“John hasn’t nominated for Sydney yet so he can’t be picked but I have only one spare lane for sure and I’ve got a lot of people bunched up who all ran faster than John did in the Melbourne Track Classic [last Thursday night],” said Gynther, referring to the 2006 Commonwealth Games 400m gold medallist’s disappointing last-placed run in 47.97sec.

Steffensen is better than that, but needs to show it. Despite having just served a three-month ban from competition by AA (for allegedly bringing the sport into disrepute), there remains a lot of goodwill towards Steffensen. To win a medal at the world championships in Daegu, Korea in September the Aussie team will need at least three runners capable of clocking 44sec on the fly and Steffensen has shown he is up to it.

The fastest time in Australia last season was clocked by WA’s Ben Offereins in the Sydney Track Classic at 44.86sec. He was only fourth last week in Melbourne in 46.46 behind Sydney schoolboy phenomenon Steven Solomon (46.12), Delhi Commonwealth Games silver medallist Sean Wroe (46.23) and Mingara’s 20-year-old Delhi relay gold medallist Kevin Moore (46.32).

Taylor, although at 32 in the twilight of his illustrious career, will given them all some hurry-up. Lest anyone think this trip is a farewell tour, Taylor also plans to double up and race the 200m on the Sydney program.

He’s no slouch at 200m either, ranking 15th fastest in the world last year with his personal best time of 20.23sec in Italy. His marks in the 200m, 400m and 400m hurdles placed him in the top-20 in the world for all three events in 2010.

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