THE GOLD COAST, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA - Through his first two races of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Steven Solomon has done enough to advance each time, reaching Tuesday’s 400m final in Carrara Track Stadium.
Solomon, a graduate student on the Duke track and field team, is currently representing his home country of Australia in the games. Solomon opened the competition with a time of 45.39 to finish in first place in his preliminary heat. Solomon’s time was second among the 41 competitors in the six heats, trailing only Bralon Taplin’s 45.11.
Coming back in the semifinals, Solomon clocked a time of 45.55 to finish in third in his heat. The third place finish did not ensure Solomon qualification to the final. But after all three heats were completed, Solomon’s time was sixth fastest overall, putting him among the eight runners that will compete in Tuesday’s final.
“Yeah, I’m happy” said Solomon. “It wasn’t a great start, I stumbled out of the blocks but I was impressed I was able to stay on my feet and finish strong.”
Solomon will be running in his first Commonwealth Games final. He does have experience in the final race of other major international competitions though, as he has reached the individual 400m final of the 2012 Olympics and the 2012 World Junior Championships as well as the 4x400m relay final at the 2012 World Junior Championships and the 2013 World Championships.
"So far so good," said assitant coach Mark Mueller. "The most important thing in a major championship is to execute each round and make the final. Steve did just that and in spite of his stumble, he stayed composed and ran a good race. Following the semis, Steve feels extremely excited and confident going into the finals. He said that the home crowd was incredible in both rounds and really lifted him up. We know that energy will be even greater and a boost for him in the finals. He has done everything he needed to all year preparing and now is his time to shine. I can’t wait to see it."
Tuesday’s final is scheduled to begin at 7:48 a.m., EST on Tuesday morning. Complete results from the race can be found here.