Even with a target on his back, LaShawn Merritt got it done for the sixth time in the Prefontaine Classic.
LaShawn turned in a blazing 44.79-second sprint to edge a young, talented field for his sixth 400m title at the Eugene Diamond League event at Hayward Field.
“I know they’re coming, they keep me motivated,” he said. “I know they’ll be full of adrenaline so I can’t get complacent once I line up because I know they’re going to run hard.”
The four-time Olympic medalist was the only competitor to break into the 44s, showing his strength at the age of 30. After the triumph, the Nike sprinter spoke about being a veteran in the event—and while he’s happy to take that role of the hunted, he’s not giving away any trade secrets to the young hunters.
“I still feel strong, I’m still working on some things. I stay focused and I’m hungry and I’m as dedicated as I was when I was younger,” LaShawn said. “There’s a level of respect there, they ask me questions. They know I’m older but they know I still want it and I know they’re young and they want it and they’re coming for me so there’s no room for me to let up.”
Lashawn Merritt is the wind!!!
— Larry Glover (@larryredwing) May 28, 2017
Lashawn Merritt's knee lift is what I aspire to have !
— Capricørn (@lefteyeLONDIE) May 27, 2017
— IAAF Diamond League (@Diamond_League) May 27, 2017
44.79 for @lashawnmerritt in the 400m
— Prefontaine Classic (@nikepreclassic) May 27, 2017