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Last Updated: Monday, 23 August, 2004, 18:24 GMT 19:24 UK
Wariner wins 400m final
Jeremy Wariner (left) celebrates with Otis Harris (middle) and Derrick Brew
Jeremy Wariner produced the fastest time of the year to win Olympic gold in the men's 400m final on Monday.

The 20-year-old clocked 44 seconds - the best time in the event since American legend Michael Johnson won gold at the 2000 Games.

Otis Harris finished in second place and Derrick Brew as the USA clinched all three podium places.

It was the first athletics clean sweep since Kenya won all three steeplechase medals at the 1992 Games in Barcelona.

"We wanted to go one-two-three," said Wariner. "We worked hard, we fought hard and we came out on top.

It is the biggest event of his career and he holds his composure to come through for the victory
Michael Johnson

Wariner, coached by Clyde Hart, the man who guided Johnson to two Olympic 400m golds in Atlanta and Sydney, became the sixth successive American to win the title.

And he revealed he received plenty of advice from both Johnson and Hart before the race.

"They both told me to run my own race and not let anyone take advantage," he said.

Harris stormed out of the blocks but was shadowed all the way by Wariner, who ran a composed first 300m.

And he began to accelerate down the home straight to leave Harris and Brew to battle it out for silver and bronze.

"He is actually able to hold his form and hold his composure coming down the home stretch when Otis Harris is right beside and pressuring him," said Johnson.

Wariner's time was eighth fastest in history but still 0.82 seconds behind Johnson's world record of 43.18 secs set at the set at the 1999 World Championships in Seville.

Grenada's world indoor champion Alleyne Francique finished in fourth while Commonwealth champion Michael Blackwood of Jamaica came in last.





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