5 things to know about 400m star Michael Norman

Michael Norman is hungry and determined.

The 24-year-old was looking to win gold in the 400 meters at the 2022 World Championships in Athletics against a packed field that included world record holder Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kirani James of Grenada and rising star Champion Allison of the United States And in a close contest, Norman won gold at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon with his time of 44.29.

Now that he’s struck gold on the big stage, here are five things you need to know about America’s Quarter Millet.

Norman needs sprint…

Norman is a huge Formula 1 fan. In fact, Norman likes fast cars. In 2018, Norman was in Monaco for an awards ceremony. He told the Orange County Register that he rented a red Ferrari 480 Spider, although he did not reveal how fast he was driving.

“I drove it through the tunnel,” he told Reid, continuing to refer to the iconic part of the Monaco F1 Grand Prix route. “Drove along the harbor, drove to Nice.”

Norman has said that Max Verstappen is his favorite Formula 1 driver, while Belgium is his favorite racetrack.

He comes from an athletic family

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Norman is not the only family member with a athletic pedigree. Her mother, Nobue Saito Norman was a Japanese sprinter, her father, Michael Norman Sr. was a track runner, while her older sister Michelle competed for the University of Utah and then the University of California at Irvine.

His mother broke several high schools Japanese sprint records when she raced in Japan.

Norman is coached by the Olympic sprinting legend

Norman is coached by legendary 400 meter specialist Quincy Watts. Watts won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, ​​Spain, in the 400 meters, clocking 43.50. He was also a member of the 1993 World Championship 4×400 meters relay team that not only won gold in the event, but also set the current world record for the event.

Watts is now director of athletics and cross country at the University of Southern California (USC), having served as an assistant coach for eight years prior to the promotion.

“The way he describes and breaks down the 400 makes it easy for me to execute what he wants me to do.” Norman said in a 2019 interview with Reuters.

He trains with Rai Benjamin

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One of Norman’s sparring partners happens to be one of his closest friends, Rai Benjamin. Benjamin competes in the 400 meter hurdles and has won three silver medals since 2019, as well as two gold medals as a member of the 4×400 meter relay teams at the 2019 World Championships and the 2020 Olympics.

Benjamin, who holds the American record in the 400-meter hurdles, has been Norman’s teammate since they competed at USC.

Historical range in sprints

Norman did something only one other athlete in history has done, and that’s run under 10 seconds for 100 meters (9.86), under 20 seconds for 200 meters (19.70) and under 45 seconds over 400 meters (43.45) .

The only other athlete to achieve this is Wayde Van Niekerk (9.94, 19.84, 43.03), who is the current world record holder in the 400 meters.

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