Angelo Secures Spot in Olympic 400mH Final
by Devon Jeffreys
Olympic glory is once again within reach for Angelo Taylor.
With another strong performance in the semi-finals on Saturday, Angelo qualified for the 400-meter hurdles final, which will be run on Monday night at the Olympic Stadium in London.
Angelo Taylor and Javier Culson, the top two contenders for gold, went head-to-head Saturday (Getty Images).
Running in the second of three semi-final heats, Angelo clocked a season's best 47.95 to take second, just two hundredths of a second behind Javier Culson of Puerto Rico. The second place finish in his heat earned Angelo an automatic spot in the final. Culson is expected to be the biggest threat to Angelo's gold medal defense on Monday night.
Angelo said after the semi-final that he knows what he must do in the final to improve his performance and come out on top Monday. It all starts with his finish.
"The last two hurdles, I've got to attack them hard," he said. "I do that, I win this race."
AT got off to a fast start in the semis, reacting quickly from the gun to pick up ground almost immediately and race to the lead within the first 200 meters. Angelo held that lead firmly coming around the final turn, but Culson caught up in the homestretch and the two men were neck-and-neck at the line, Where Culson leaned ahead by a razor-thin margin.
Angelo said that his start was great, but he'll spend the next 48 hours working on his last 100 meters and the final two hurdles that will stand in the way of his Olympic dream.
"The first eight hurdles [in the semi-final] were good. Nine and 10 not so good," he said. "I will just have to look at film and correct."
Despite his displeasure with his finish, the Olympic semi-final was Angelo's first sub-48-second race of the 2012 season and eclipsed his previous season's best by more than half a second. He was one of only four men to go under 48 in the three semi-finals. The times should get even better in the final on Monday, when the competition for the gold will be heated. To win the gold in 2008, Angelo ran a 47.25 in the 400mH final, a mark that still stands as his personal best in the event, but could fall on Monday.
The final of the 2012 Olympic Men's 400-meter hurdles is slated for 3:45 p.m. EDT. Watch it live on NBCOlympics.com. It will also replay during NBC's prime time coverage of Day 10 at the 2012 Olympics from 8 p.m. to midnight EDT and PDT.
- Results: Men's 400-Meter Hurdles (NBCOlympics.com, August 4, 2012)
- Tech's Taylor into 400 hurdles finals (Atlanta Journal Constitution, August 4, 2012)
- Angelo Taylor To Run In 400-meter Hurdles Olympic Finals (RamblinWreck.com, August 4, 2012)
- London Olympics track and field heats up in a hurry (Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2012)
- Rupp wins historic silver; Jeter, Claye add to U.S. medal total (USATF, August 4, 2012)