Olympics: Clement powers to 400m hurdles title

Kerron Clement of the US celebrates after winning the men's 400m hurdles final.
Kerron Clement of the US celebrates after winning the men's 400m hurdles final.PHOTO: EPA

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Kerron Clement of the United States stormed to victory in the men’s 400m hurdles on Thursday (Aug 18), holding off a furious late challenge from Kenya’s Boniface Tumuti to take gold.

Clement powered over in a world leading time of 47.73sec, just ahead of Tumuti in 47.78.

Turkey’s Cuban-born Yasmani Copello claimed bronze in 47.92sec.

Ireland’s Thomas Barr narrowly missed out on a podium finish, just behind Copello in 47.97sec.

The win comes eight years after the Trinidad-born Clement won a silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Games and a gold medal in the 4x400 relay.

Injuries disrupted his career in the intervening period and he finished outside the medals at the London Olympics four years ago as he struggled to regain his peak.

However, he had signalled his readiness to take advantage of a wide open field in Rio, qualifying for the final with the fastest semi-final time on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Clement set off at a quick pace and built up a healthy lead heading into the home straight, digging deep to hold off the fast-approaching Tumuti over the closing metres.

Clement has achieved a measure of fame off the track, featuring in a music video for pop diva Beyonce’s hit Run The World after being invited to attend the filming in Los Angeles by a dancer friend.