A lot of arm chair coaches like to dissect splits in a 400m and come up with a race plan. Others simply use the Michael Johnson 4 P’s approach of Push, Pace, Position & Pray.
I was trying to come up with a good example of the latter on a presentation (other than using MJ) , and one recent race that came to mind was the 2008 NCAA outdoor 400 meters Championships.
The NCAA Championship in the Olympic year is always an exciting time as some of these Collegians, despite racing every weekend in and out, still come out and perform well at the US Olympic Trials a few weeks later. Jeremy Wariner did that in 2004.
Fast forward (or rewind) to 2008. All the eyes were on Baylor’s LeJerald Betters or USC’s Lionel Larry. But everyone forgot the lesser known guy from Oral Roberts (when was the last time Oral Roberts won a 4x400m at the Big Dance? or Penn Relays?). In my opinion, Andretti Bain executes a perfect race and his 3rd 100m was the critical point to his victory.
Andretti Bain, Bahamas
Andretti Bain would later represent Bahamas at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and reach the semi-finals in the individual 400m. He earned a silver medal in the 4x400m relay with teammate Chris Brown.
Take a look at the YouTube video. Note how he positions himself and runs an aggressive yet smooth curve. As well, he has some gas in the tank for the homestretch.
The 400 meters is difficult race to master. Even the slightest of margins can affect your final outcome by a couple of meters or a few tenths of a second.
If you want to watch the entire meet, you can go to NCAA Video on Demand, the official Online Store for NCAA Sports DVDs.
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