Steve Solomon’s (NSW) fond memories of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park could well be reignited later this year, as the 24-year-old clocked an impressive 45.19 seconds over 400m to put himself in contention to be selected for Team Australia in London.
Out of lane 9 at the TrackTown Summer Series meet in Palo Alto, Solomon’s time is the fastest he has run since his 45.14 in the 400m final at the 2012 London Olympics.
“Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will forever be a special place for me, and to have the opportunity to possibly race there again at the world championships is tremendously exciting,” Solomon said from California.
“I know what to expect, the vibrations of the track from the loud and passionate crowd… I can't wait to get back out there!”
Solomon puts down his return to form to his long-time coach Iryna Dvoskina, who is based out of the Australian Institute of Sport.
“She’s one of my biggest sources of motivation and mentorship,” he said.
“We have worked so hard behind the scenes, have weathered the highs and lows of athletics, and I am just so happy that I was able to execute and hopefully bring us both back to London.”
Solomon, who won his fifth Australian title earlier this year in 46.66, is Australia’s only man to post a qualifying time for the one-lap event for London, and is now right in the mix to attend his third world championships, following 4x400m relay appearances at both Daegu in 2011 and Moscow in 2013.
It’s been a big month for Solomon who is based in the US, as he recently graduated in Human Biology from Stanford University with plans to pursue a further education in America after London.
“The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. Finishing up with class and being able to celebrate my graduation with my parents was very memorable.”
“Following London, I will return to the U.S to pursue a Masters degree in Management Studies at Fuqua Business School at Duke University.”
“I am very excited to get back on the track next week with the confidence and determination.”
“Right now, my full energy and focus is on getting myself to London in the best shape possible.”
Dvoskina’s current squad of athletes also includes Rio Paralympic gold medallist Scott Reardon (ACT), five-time Paralympic champion Evan O’Hanlon (ACT) and Rio bronze medallist Chad Perris (ACT) who are all in their final preparations for the World Para Athletics Championships which are held later this month from the 14 – 23 July.
Reardon, who will be lining up for his fourth world championships event, recently ran an impressive 12.13 for the 100m, a mere 0.02 seconds outside of the current T42 world record held by German rival Heinrich Popow.