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Hudson-Smith (GBR) wins 400m Gold at European Champs

88   //    11 Aug 2018, 02:41 IST

24th European Athletics Championships - Day Four
Matthew Hudson-Smith donning the Union Jack

Once Matthew Hudson-Smith had cleared the blocks, the jig was up. He seized the lead, and never gave it back. Another favourite, Karsten Warholm (NOR), disappoints with a last-place finish, while the Borlée twins (BEL) get to celebrate a silver and bronze medal respectively.

Hudson-Smith presented the world of athletics with an almost perfectly executed 400m race. Starting in lane three, the Brit had Jonathan Borlée on the outside. Knowing that the Belgian was a strong finisher but not the fastest man in the first half of the race, the Hudson-Smith confidently made up the stagger up to him in less than 180 meters.

This positioned him perfectly to being working the top bend, and work it he did! In a manner reminiscent of the great Michael Johnson, Hudson-Smith began pulling away from his competition, creating a visible margin between him and the rest of the pack.

Although Hudson-Smith seemed to be struggling by the last 50 meters to maintain his form and pace, neither of the Borlée brothers posed a serious threat as their competitor hurtled down the home straight to win in 44.78s.

The unfortunate no-show of the event was Karsten Warholm. Even though the Norwegian ran well for the first 250 meters, almost keeping up with Hudson-Smith, he faded over the last 150 meters to finish in a dissatisfying time of 46.68s

Overall, it is the Borlée brothers who have the most reason to celebrate, with Kevin securing the silver in 45.13s, and Jonathan claiming the bronze in 45.19s. The reader is kindly requested to form their own jokes about identical twins and identical times.

The race itself was not particularly fast, with only one man going below 45 seconds. It made up for the lack of raw speed with a strategically dominant winner and the charming Borlée rounding out the medals.