…and now for the relay

August 8, 2012 by  
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Steven Solomons, the 19-yr-old Sydney athlete who, beyond expectations, made it to the final of the 400m at the 2012 London Olympics is preparing for his next Olympic event…a member of the four man 4 x 400m relay.

His father Michael has reported on the aftermath of the exciting 400m final…

 

from Michael Solomon [London]

The Thank You Smile

I managed to get 4 hours sleep last night. It’s been a while since I did a 42 hour shift but boy did I enjoy every minute of both the shift and the sleep. After catching up with Steve we headed back home on the tube. I felt my head nodding off constantly as I was exhausted. The only thing that kept me going was the frightening thought of the Solomon family being found fast asleep in the holding pens of the London underground at Edgeware train depot. So today before I head out to the stadium to see Sally Pearson go for Gold, I have a moment to reflect on the last few days. It has been a ride of a lifetime and it has been a pleasure trying to bring you some feel as to how we feel being at the London Olympics with Steve competing. Thank you to all those who emailed me expressing their delight in receiving my blogs and encouraging me to continue. No need to encourage as I enjoy telling the story as much as some of you seem to enjoy following the journey. Reflecting on the 3 days of racing I keep returning to that famous night on Sunday when Usain Bolt blitzed the field in the 100 final and our Aussie Steven Solomon ran the most incredible race of his short athletic career. Apart from the elation and shear joy that we felt when after the 3rd semifinal was run and we realised Steve has made the final, it was only when I got home and during that sleepless night I started seeing photographs posted on the web by various newspapers of Steve’s finish. OMG OMG OMG as Gen X tweet and FB The shear expression on Steve’s face straining every last muscle fibre to run a sub 45 and give himself a chance to reach an Olympic final, will live in my mind forever. I have never witnessed anything like that, seeing a 19 yr old kid who 9 months ago was recovering from a significant left hamstring tear, putting every last drop of energy, breath and grit into achieving the most famous of PB’s. This was courage beyond belief……………………. pure GUTS……………… pure GUTS………………. I repeat ………………… PURE GUTS. What an effort !!!!!!!!!!!!! Lets look at the stats before the race Lane Bib Athlete Country SB 2012 PB 2 1132 Jonathan Borlée BEL 44.43 44.43 3 1060 Steven Solomon AUS 44.97 44.97 4 3044 Lalonde Gordon TRI 44.58 44.58 5 2005 Kirani James GRN 44.59 44.36 6 1100 Chris Brown BAH 44.67 44.40 7 1564 Luguelín Santos DOM 44.45 44.45 8 1108 Demetrius Pinder BAH 44.77 44.77 9 1133 Kévin Borlée BEL 44.56 44.56 If you looks at each persons PB you will notice that Steve has the slowest PB in the field. This PB was achieved 24 hrs earlier when he broke another PB achieved 48 hrs earlier. Every other athlete had been running in the 44’s for the past one to four years. Steve had run 3 PB’s in 3 weeks (World Juniors in Barcelona…. 45-52 ) was a PB and he gusted it out to reach the final. By contrast Kirani (nickname “the jaguar”) coasted home in his heat and semi………… this guy together with Santos had lots to spare. There was no ways in hell that Steven was going to find the strength to run yet another PB after 2 punishing days of racing to get higher up on the leader board. This is just not humanely possible when you are racing at this level. The final therefore was always about a celebration. Steven gave it his all but so did those other 7 runners who are physically in much stronger shape than Steve as he only started running seriously when he won the egg and spoon race 3 yrs ago and in December 2009 he competed in his first national race …………. under 17 and ran a 48-39 without a coach. He did not let us down and despite feeling he could would have run it differently in hindsight he still put a huge effort in against a massively strong field in the Olympic Games final and ran yet another great time ………… 45-14. He has shaved over half a second off his time since Barcelona 3 weeks ago and in the last 4 weeks has run 8 x 400m races (Yes EIGHT serious runs) at championship level (3 individual runs at world juniors, 2 relay runs at world juniors and now 3 individual at the Olympics). This is staggering ……………………… I am unable to find any statistic that shows a 400m runner who progressed to the Olympic final with such a physically punishing schedule over a period of 4 weeks and who leaves the best till last running two huge PB’s. This is all good for the future !! So folks I think we can look back at this Olympic campaign with immense pride and admiration as to what he has achieved on the athletic track. His stats tell the story. By the way, Kirani James who ran 43-94 to win last night, is the first non American (USA runner) to break the 44 second barrier and the great Michael Johnson himself said on BBC last night that he thinks Kirani will one day break MJ’s world record of 43-18………………… What company Steve is in !! I have looked up the stats of the NCAA US college rankings this year and Steve’s time of 44-97 ranks him 5th and he is the youngest. The quickest ran 44-58. He starts at Stanford in September and the outdoor track season starts in March next year ………………… watch this space. He now ranks 8th on the Aussie all time ranking list chasing that number of 44-38 set by Darren Clarke in the 1988 Olympics Off the track………. The only downside about coming to London is that we have not been able to witness the enormous support that Steve has received in Sydney and Australia. He seems to be on everyones lips and his rise to fame is based on his athletic achievement (The first Aussie to reach a 400m final since 1988) and more importantly his grace and humility. He has handled the increasing media storm with maturity and has become a role model for so many young children who have written hero messages to him. Well done Steve !!!!! Before I close and head out to the track, I thought I would attach a a paragraph from his Face book page (I still can not access his FB ……………. typical child……… banning the parents………….. so Bianca showed me ) From my Anaesthetist who not only puts my patients to sleep but who helped when I went under the knife ( He can’t object to me publishing this ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I provide him work ! ) “Thought it’s about time to make you read some replies, mainly because after the last 42 hours at last you’re going to crash…and shut up! I have previously been the only person (outside your family) to make you shut up for more than 6 hours….I deal some serious serious drugs. But no drug was ever as good as that. Wonderful experience as a fan, a Foxtel subscriber, a HD LCD TV watcher, an Australian, a big big Olympic fan, a Colleague, a friend, a friend of a friend of a friend, and a person who has a few times met that guy who made the 400 men’s final in London when he shouldn’t have ….. just when our Olympics was going down the toilet. We’re gonna do alright, I’m a huge Sally Pearson and Kookaburras fan. Might have some more luck, maybe not. Great times. “” Now it’s time to head for the track. Good Luck Sally Pearson !! Until my next update and more photos………… hang in there as we still have the 4 x 4 PS 4 x400 race is Thursday 11-30am London time 8-30pm Sydney time 6-30am New York time 3-30am Vancouver time 12-30pm Cape Town time Finals if we make it are at 9-20pm London time Friday night, (6-20 am Sat morning Sydney time) Go Aussie Go An the last quote of this email goes to Steve…. thanks to Bianca who e-mailed this to me “” 8th in the WORLD! Olympic finalist in my first Olympic games! A new personal best, a million new friends and sources of support and I even got a tweet from Delta! The past three days have been the best three days in my life, and I really want to thank everyone for your support. Every like, comment, message and post had me smiling and fueled my performances. I know I gave it everything I had for myself, my country and for all of you who have supported me. This experience has elated me emotionally and physically. I cannot wait for my next opportunity to put on the Green and Gold and don the Australian Crest in the 4x400m relay later this week. Thanks you once again! From a very very happy Olympic finalist. “”

Comments

One Response to “…and now for the relay”
  1. Julie says:

    Steven may not have won the final but he certainly won the admiration, respect and hearts of everyone who saw him, both on and off the track. His attitude epitomises the true spirit of the Olympic Games.
    Many congratulations Steve – the world is at your feet.

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