Silver for Solomon

July 25, 2013 by David Weiner-Maccabi NSW
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Steven Solomon and Donald Sanford have produced a level of sport tonight beyond the wildest dreams of the organisers with a thrilling 400m mens final on the first night of the track and field competition at this year’s 19th Maccabiah.

Silver for Solomon

Silver for Solomon

Both Solomon and Sanford broke the Maccabiah record, but the Israeli sensation surged home to clock 45.65, with Steve second with 46.46 in front of a great crowd and a gaggle of media interested in two of the Games’ biggest stars going head-to-head. There’s been some great sport at the Games – but this was pure quality.

Steve acknowldedges supporters    Pix: Peter Haskin, Maccabi Australia

Steve acknowldedges supporters Pix: Peter Haskin, Maccabi Australia

Both just missed the B-qualifying mark of 45.60s to gain a spot in the individual 400m for the upcoming World Championships in Moscow in August, but it was a magical Maccabiah moment, both for the class performance on and off the track.

For Steve, missing the gold was tempered by the satisfaction of continuing his return from a back injury, which he has had to juggle with his first year studying medicine at Stanford University.

“This year was made very tough by an injury that just happens in sport,” Steve said after the race.

“I’ll come back.

“It’s been a really tough road; mental as much as physical.

“But I’m confident I’ll come back to where I was and improve on that pretty soon hopefully.”

Steve was obviously down on his mesmerising personal best of 44.97s in London, but that doesn’t bother him at all.

“Running fast is not my priority at the moment,” Steve added. “Staying healthy is; really nursing my injury and building the strength that it doesn’t happen.”

Steve’s rapid ascent to Olympic stardom is well documented. He returns to his second Maccabiah with rock star status after his trip here four years ago as a junior football player who could only have dreamt of the journey he’s just been through.

Australia’s team flag bearer managed to squeeze the Games into his busy schedule, with his passion for the Maccabi movement shining through.

“I’ve loved my time here,” Steve said.

“It’s my second time and hopefully not my last. I want to come back hopefully as many times as my schedule fits.

“I really did everything I could to make sure I could come this time, and I’ve had a great time, met some wonderful people; Israel has been very friendly and I really appreciate the hospitality.”

Next up, it’s off to London to prepare for the World Championships with the Australian squad.

“I can only go up from here.

“I’m just hoping to build towards a really successful season next season, and hopefully I’ll have a spot in the relay at the World Champs (in Moscow in August).

”We’re all there for the relay; hopefully I can channel all my energy into that.

“I don’t really have any strong expectations for myself or the team, so long as we run well together.

“It’s a relatively young, new and inexperienced team and I’m fortunate to be part of it. Hopefully I can pass on some of my experience to the boys and who knows what might happen.”


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