Rai Benjamin could break my world record - Kevin Young

By June 11, 2018
World-record holder Kevin Young believes Rai Benjamin could be the man to break 47 seconds and join him in that exclusive club. World-record holder Kevin Young believes Rai Benjamin could be the man to break 47 seconds and join him in that exclusive club.

Kevin Young, the world record holder in the 400m hurdles, believes Antigua’s Rai Benjamin could be the man to break his work record of 46.78s set 26 years ago in Barcelona, Spain.

Young, 51, speaking exclusively with SportsMax.TV said he was shocked by the performance that matched the world record set by Edwin Moses back in 1983 before Young smashed it a decade later to become the first and only man to break the 47-second barrier in the 400m hurdles.

The 20-year-old Benjamin, a junior at USC, set the track and field world abuzz with one of the performances of the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon last Friday when he scorched the wet track to win in 47.02s.

He was more than a second faster than silver medalist Kenny Selmon of North Carolina (48.12) and David Kendziera of Illinois who took the bronze in 48.42.

The talented Antiguan maintained a 13-step stride pattern all the way around, matching the 47.02 by Edwin Moses from 1983 in Koblenz, Germany. It was the last of Moses’ four world records.

“I was shocked,” said Young whose world record of 46.78 has stood since 1992. Young said when he ran in college, it took him four years to figure out the stride pattern that worked best for him and eventually allowed him to break Moses' world record.

That Benjamin used 13 steps all the way during his record-breaking performance, Young said, the young hurdler now has time to figure out how to become to the second man below 47 seconds. “Hurdles 2,3,4, and 5 that is when you are at your fastest along the back,” Young said. “If Rai can figure out how to get 12 steps in their somewhere before reverting to the 13 steps the rest of the way, he could do it.”

Young said he believes with competition from the likes of Abderrahman Samba, who won his last race in Stockholm in 47.41, an Asian record and world-leading time could push each other to dip below 47. It was the fifth sub-48-second clocking in a row by Samba, the first time that feat has been accomplished since Derrick Adkins managed it back in 1995

Young said he doesn’t mind if they break his record because records are meant to be broken but he has enjoyed holding onto the record for almost three decades.



Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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