Solomon ready to mark his mark in 400m

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Steve Solomon after running the men’s 400m final at the 2012 London Olympics, his career highlight.In a sporting sense, the 2012 London Olympics can seem like a lifetime ago for Steve Solomon.
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As a 19-year-old, Solomon looked to have the running world at his feet, having become the first n in 24 years to qualify for an Olympic 400m men’s final.

A series of back and hamstring injuries have often cruelled Solomon’s progress in recent years, much of which have been spent in the US college system.

He was long overdue for a change of fortune. And it seems to have happened.

Already this year, Solomon has smashed the long-standing n 400m indoor record.

The decision not to risk further back issues by taking the long flight from the US to for February’s Commonwealth Games trials paid off when no-one else bettered the qualifying standard.

As such, he will be the sole n competitor in a stacked Commonwealth Games men’s 400m also including the likes of Botswana’s Isaac Makwala and Grenada’s Bralon Taplin, beginning with the first round on Sunday.

Solomon would love to have come into the Games with a recent string of flying times under his belt.

But he can also see the benefits of a low-key buildup.

“It means you can fly under the radar a bit,” Solomon told AAP.

“At the London Olympics I came in ranked in the high 20s and was able to make the final.

“But also there’s an advantage in having really strong times next to your name and putting a bit of a target on yourself.

“I’ve done it before in both scenarios so it doesn’t bother me too much either way.”

The sprints and the middle-distance races are traditionally the strongest on the Commonwealth Games program due to the presence of the Caribbean nations and the east and southern African track powerhouses.

That suits Solomon just fine.

“It’s not that many rungs below Olympic level,” he said.

“I’ve got a great field to compete against and I really feel like I’m ready to put it to them, more than they’re expecting.

“I know from my training times that I’m in phenomenal shape, but when it comes to the racing it’s too hard to predict a time.

“I’ve found over the years that if I do that it can lead to disappointment because there are so many elements out of your control.”

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