Outsider Carter defies lane logic
LONDON — American Kori Carter pulled off another of the numerous shocks at the world championships on Thursday, achieving the rare feat of winning the 400 meters hurdles title from the outside lane.
All eyes had been on Carter’s US teammate, Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad, who had been the strong favorite, but it was the former American champion in lane nine who maintained her form best to race to victory in 53.07 seconds.
Muhammad, the fastest woman in the world this year, earned silver in 53.50 to complete an American one-two while Jamaican Ristananna Tracey, an Olympic finalist last year, took bronze in a lifetimebest 53.74.
Czech Zuzana Hejnova, who had been seeking to win an unprecedented third successive world title in the race, had to settle for fourth, being overhauled by Tracey on the run-in despite clocking a season’s best of 54.20.
“I am on top of the world right now. What a blessing to be world champion. This is just an incredible feeling like I’ve never experienced,” the 25-year-old Carter said.
“When you work so hard and sacrifice so much for something, for it to pay off in the end is so satisfying. It’s a surreal experience right now.
“It’s always great to run against great athletes because it brings the best out in you, going up against Team USA at trials really prepared me for this.”
Few, though, could have expected the Los Angelesbased Carter, who had won the US title three years ago, to prevail from the outside lane where the race becomes a test of blind faith.
Wayde van Niekerk famously achieved his Olympic 400m triumph last year from that position, breaking the world record in the process, but that was a wholly unprecedented feat.