By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Kyron McMaster, after missing five weeks of competition with a slight injury, rolled out a personal best while finishing second in the IAAF Paris Diamond League meeting on Saturday, during the second fastest race ever run in the history of the 400m Hurdles.
With five athletes in the field who have run under 48.00 seconds—including three of the four athletes who have done it in the last year—the race was expected to be fast.
McMaster who ran 47.80 seconds in 2017, was sandwiched between 2018 world leader Abderrahman Samba of Qatar, who ran a personal best of 47.41 seconds in Stockholm, Sweden and has broken 48 flat five times this season, and 2017 IAAF World Champion, Karsden Warholm of Norway, with a best of 47.81 and also a 47.82 this month.
The trio were fairly even at hurdle eight of the 10 barriers, before Warholm hit hurdle nine and Samba, with a slight edge over McMaster, went on to break the tape in 46.98 seconds, becoming just the second man to break 47.00, joining the USA’s Kevin Young who ran 46.78, to win the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games gold medal.
McMaster finished second in a personal best of 47.54, lowering his 47.80 BVI national record from last year, while Warhom was third in 48.06, after hitting the penultimate hurdle.
Samba’s time was the No 2 mark on the IAAF All Time List—moving from No 15—and eclipsed the 47.02 ran during the 2018 NCAA Championships on June 8, by Antigua and Barbuda’s Rai Benjamin, which equaled Edwin Moses’ 1983 mark. McMaster climbed from No 30 into a three way tie with the USA’s Derrick Atkins and Mori Fabrizio of Italy, in the No 18 spot.
“Last race I had a bit of issues during the race and I didn’t expect much because I had issues going into and coming out the race,” McMaster noted of the May 4, Diamond League opener in Doha, Qatar where he placed third in 49.46 seconds. “I wasn’t really focusing much on that race, because I know I didn’t run the race I should have run. I feel proud of this race coming back from an injury after being out for about a month and a half. I feel good. I’m still injured, not fully 100%, but looking to get that rectified hopefully soon, so we could continue running on the circuit as well.”
Of his performance he added: “I know my capabilities, trust the training, trust the process and I know I’m working hard on and off the track and there are things we’re working on health wise.”
After running a world leading 48.25 seconds on April 12 before being sidelined, the event had changed with three athletes running in the 47 seconds.
“This is the first year I’m been doing track and field that the event is very, very competitive in the 400 meters hurdles,” McMaster reflected from Paris. “You can see that last year, I was the only athlete that went under 48 seconds and now, there’s an athlete that goes under 47 seconds and I’m in the 47 seconds range right now, so it definitely has changed. “
McMaster competed on Thursday night in Lausanne, Switzerland.
At the 3rd Aliann Pompey Invitational in Georgetown Guyana, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott was eight in the in Women’s 100m in 11.78 seconds. Ashley Kelly ran 53.54 seconds for fifth place in the Women’s 400m and was third in her 200m heat in 24.17 seconds, a time that was good for fifth overall.