Olympic Mens 400M Preview
With the track events now starting to get underway at the Olympic Games it is time to take a look at one of the biggest events on show – the men's 400 metres.
It certainly looks to be tough fought race and unlike with the shorter sprints, if your start is not quite right you do have time to make up for it.
Leading the way at the moment and the person many people are backing to take the gold medal is Lashawn Merritt.
The American is the reigning Olympic Champion in both the individual and relay events and if he is anywhere near his best, will certainly be the one to beat.
Merritt is the fifth fastest man in the 400m of all time, if conditions suit him he could get even closer to the world record.
At 26-years-old he has the perfect balance of youth and experience. He has also won four gold medals at the World Championships, however was beaten last year in the final in Daegu.
The man who beat him then was 19-year-old sensation Kirani James. The six-foot-four athlete is competing in his first ever Olympic Games so will have to be careful not to let the occasion get the better of him.
That said though, he proved that he can deal with being in the limelight in the World Championships and seems to be the sort of character that will relish this opportunity.
This is a chance for James to show that he can really dominate this event for some years to come.
As mentioned, he does have the psychological advantage over Merritt but will know that counts for nothing when it really matters.
Another contender is 18-year-old Luguelin Santos who not many people would have heard of going into London 2012.
Santos is another one with incredible ability and he certainly has a bug future in the sport. However, he does not have any medal winning experience in big events so may not quite have what it takes just yet.
If he applies himself though and focuses on the task in hand, he could spring a few surprises.
It is all set to be a fantastic race and with so much talent on show, it is tough to call. In the end though,it will be Merritt who could prove too much to stop.
His experience of winning a gold four years ago is massive and this could be his year again.