DAEGU, South Korea, CMC – Jamaican Melaine Walker failed in her title defence as American Lashinda Demus stormed to a world-leading time to win the women’s 400 metres hurdles at the World Championships yesterday.
Walker finished second in a season-best 52.73 seconds while Demus clocked 52.47 seconds, the third fastest time ever, to add to the distance relay gold she won in Berlin two years ago. Despite missing out on gold for a second straight Championship, Walker said she was thrilled with her effort.
“I am excited and shocked. I know I am good, but sometimes I doubt myself. People around me believe in me more than I believe in myself,” Walker said.
“I refocused because I was furious when knew I got lane eight. I told myself ‘a lot of people come to this meet and they have their disappointments’. I went out there, refocused and just run.
“That’s exactly what I did. I am proud of myself, I was just close to getting gold. I should have stepped to that end but I will be alright.”
Walker’s Jamaican compatriot Kaliese Spencer missed out on a podium spot when she finished fourth in 54.01 seconds.
Both Jamaicans started well and looked well positioned as the race moved down the backstretch, with Spencer slightly ahead. Walker took over the lead entering the stretch but Demus produced a strong effort to get to the front and crossed the line unchallenged.