World record-holder Michael Johnson shrugged off an injury scare to cruise to the fastest 400m time in the world this year Saturday at the Prefontaine Classic IAAF Grand Prix in Eugene, Oregon.
"Everything felt pretty good. About 100m in, I felt a little uncomfortable," Johnson said of the mild muscle pain in his left quadriceps that his trainer later described it as a "twinge".
"In the turn it went away, and I decided to bring it in easy."
He did, cruising to victory in 43.92sec, eight-tenths of a second ahead of American Tyree Washington. He moved to the top of the season's best list, surpassing the 44.65 run by Antonio Pettigrew last week in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Johnson said he went out faster than he should have.
"The wind was pretty tough on the back stretch," he said. "I wanted to go out strong to fight that."
He said his 200m split of 20.8 "shows what kind of shape I'm in."
Johnson posted a meet record, improving on the previous mark of 44.13. But the holder of the world record of 43.18 said records are not the issue with the Olympics looming in Sydney next September.
"This year, it's all about getting ready for the Olympics," he said - (AFP)
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