American 400m specialist Michael Norman ran a world-leading 100m time of 9.86 seconds on Monday at a meet in Fort Worth, Texas. The race was his first crack at the 100m since 2016, when he ran his previous PB of 10.27. With his performance, Norman has run sub-10, sub-20 and sub-44 for the 100m, 200m and 400m, becoming just the second person to ever accomplish this feat, behind Olympic 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk.
Norman’s career to date
Norman ran for the University of Southern California, where he won four NCAA championships, including 400m indoor and outdoor crowns in 2018. That year at the indoor championships, he ran an unofficial indoor 400m world record of 44.52 seconds. Norman turned pro in the summer of 2018, and since then, he has steadily progressed to become a sprinting star. Last year, he set his 400m PB of 43.45 at a meet in California, and later on in the season he set his 200m best with a world-leading time of 19.70 at the Rome Diamond League event.
As a junior, he won two world championship golds in the 200m and 4 x 100m relay, and in 2019, he got his first chance to represent the U.S. as a senior. He made it to the 400m semi-finals in Doha, but he was unable to make it to the final round of racing. But with his result from Texas, he has solidified himself as one of the top athletes to watch as the world returns to normal and racing continues to make a comeback.
The sub-10/20/44 club
Van Niekerk became the first person to join the sub-10/20/44 club at the age of 23 in 2016, when he ran a 9.98 100m at an event in South Africa. At 22, Norman accomplished the feat a year earlier than van Niekerk, who owns the 400m world record. With Norman’s apparent versatility, he has a lot of options moving forward, and at such a young age, he has a lot of time to improve ahead of the 2021 and even 2024 Olympics.