Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Superman Greene Puts 'Batman' in His Place

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Superman Greene Puts 'Batman' in His Place

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Majendie in Daegu

[bar] AI GREENE had told anyone who would listen that he was the man to beat going into the final of the men's 400metres hurdles and today he was as good as his word with a breathtaking run to give Britain their first gold of these championships.

The 25-year-old has been unbelievably relaxed here in Korea and he kept a cool head despite the race having to be started three times.

Appropriately enough, bearing in mind the eventual winner, the field were twice shown a green card for a faulty start, after which Greene coolly talked to Felix Sanchez in the lane outside him.

When the race did get under way, the Briton was the second quickest off the blocks, behind only American Bershawn Jackson, who goes by the nickname of 'Batman' and has ran a faster time than Greene this year, a lane inside him.

The Welshman was third coming around the bend but jumped into second spot at the penultimate hurdle although he still had Javier Culson to pass with one hurdle remaining.

A final burst of speed to the line was enough for him to beat the Puerto Rican, who in the qualifying rounds had looked the greatest threat, by less than two tenths of a second, with South Africa's L J Van Zyl taking third and Jackson finishing sixth. In the build-up to Daegu, Greene had repeatedly said it was not about times but about placings in the major championships. His winning time of 48.26sec was not even a season's best and left him some way off Kriss Akabusi's 21-year-old British record.

"I was disappointed that I was a little off the pace but coming off the last hurdle I just had so much momentum," said Greene. "I just thought, I can't let this go, this is mine."

The Bath-based athlete's world gold completed a clean sweep, adding to the European and Commonwealth titles he had won in 2010, which is a remarkable achievement for someone who only opted for athletics after becoming disgruntled with his coach while playing for Swansea's academy side from the age of 12.

Intriguingly, he credits his footballing past with his hurdling prowess. Growing up, he idolised Ryan Giggs and, like the Manchester United midfielder, taught himself to play left footed despite being naturally right footed. …

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