US Men Sweep 400

Merritt shocks Wariner to take gold
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2008 2:57 AM CDT
LaShawn Merritt of the United States reacts after winning the men's 400-meter with a personal best time of 43.75 seconds.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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(Newser) – LaShawn Merritt stunned teammate and rival Jeremy Wariner in the men's 400-meter race today, eclipsing the favorite by nearly a full second to take gold in the US medals sweep. Wariner, the defending champion, turned the final corner to find Merritt far in front of him, reports the Los Angeles Times. David Neville had to dive to secure bronze.

"People said I was the underdog," Merritt said. "But I believed I could do it, and that is the first step in winning." The runner said lengthening his stride helped. "I came here and said I'm just going to open up and let it fly, and that's how it played out," he added.