OSAKA, Japan – Former University of Florida star Kerron Clement
became just the fourth Gator male to win a world track & field
championship on Tuesday morning, as he claimed gold in the 400mH at the
2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan.
Clement crossed the line in 47.61, the world’s fastest outdoor time
in 2007, to win his first-career world championship. He outdistanced
Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic by a full four tenths of a
second to take the win, and fell just shy of his personal-best mark of
Clement’s victory also avenged a 2005 World Championships 400mH race
that saw him finish fourth, just .08 away from a place on the medal
“To be able to say that you are the best in the world at something is
very special,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said of Clement, who
lives in Gainesville and trains under the tutelage of his former college
mentor. “I’m obviously very excited for Kerron. He was disappointed
in 2005, but he was able to put it behind him and work hard. We talked
about running aggressively from hurdles six to nine, and he executed the
game plan perfectly and got the win.”
The United States’ newest world champion is not only the fourth Gator
men’s track star to win a world championship, but just the second to
take the crown in an individual event. Former UF standout and Mike
Holloway-trainee John Capel captured the 200m gold in 2003.
Clement’s gold medal is the sixth ever won by a UF men’s track &
field athlete. In addition to his 2003 gold in the 200m, Capel and
Bernard Williams combined to form half of Team USA’s
championship-winning 4x100m in 2003, while Dennis Mitchell won gold with
the American 4x100m in both 1991 and 1993.
Capel also owns a bronze in the 200m from 2005, and Mitchell won bronze
in the 100m at the 1991 and 1993 editions of the meet. Clement’s
victory on Tuesday brings the Gator male medal count to nine.
Another Florida track & field alumnus has a chance to claim a gold
medal of her own on Wednesday, as Novlene Williams will take to the
track in the final of the 400m. She won the semifinal round on Monday
with a time of 49.66, which ranks as the world’s third-fastest this