Septuple gold medalist at OG/WC, Jeremy Wariner is working to get two more medals in 2009. The 400m specialist opened his season with a 200m on 21 March at a University meet (Dr Pepper) in Waco. His 20.77 (w-0.1) shows good early speed, however it is difficult to compare this result with the previous years. Since his breakthrough into the international scene in 2004, Wariner has usually opened with a 200m, but not always that early. His did so in 2006 and 2008. 2006 started with an exceptional 20.59 into 1.0 m/s wind at the same Dr Pepper meet. Two months later, he would set his 20.19 PR which still stands. 2008, the year Wariner left his long-time coach Clyde Hart to Michael Ford (Harts’s assistant), started on 16 February in Sydney (20.93 w-0.5) and was as fast as 20.37 (w1.3) on 29 March in Arlington.
Lining up in other heats, Reggie Witherspoon (44.99 in 2008 and 4×4 OG gold medalist) ran 20.94 (w-1.3) and Darold Williamson (44.27 in 2005 and 45.16 last year) did 21.44 (w-1.9).
www.jeremywariner.com gives the competition schedule. On his forum, Wariner wrote « those are the meets that im confirmed in. We are still working on meets between USA trials and Worlds. ».
March 28 – 200m – Arlington, UTA Invitational
April 18 – 200m – Waco, Michael Johnson Invitational
April 24 – 400m – Des Moines, Drake Relays
May 9 – 400m – Osaka, IAAF GP
May 17 – 400m – Carson, Adidas Track Classic
June 25-28 – 200m – Eugene, USA Championships
Aug 15-23 – 400m & 4x400m – Berlin, World Championsips.
Note : as a 2007 World defending Champion, Wariner is automatically selected for Berlin at 400m. He won’t have to run the 400m at USA Champs and finish on the podium to make the team, hence his decision to run the 200m. He already used this strategy in 2007, running the 200m at Nationals, as he was wild-carded from his 2005 World title at 400m.