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Meet LaShawn Merritt
Meet LaShawn Merritt
Focused, determined, humble: Just a few sides of Virginia's finest.

2008 U.S. Olympic Trials
2008 U.S. Olympic Trials
LaShawn defeated rival Jeremy Wariner to win the 400 meters in Eugene, Oregon.

06/01/2009 - 19:08
Merritt Wins, Ready for Bolt
by Matt Martino

LaShawn continued his 400m winning streak at the Reebok Grand Prix on Saturday in New York City. He won the event with a time of 44.75 seconds, while his rival Jeremy Wariner ran the 200m in 20.30 seconds (4th).

The 400 was one of many victories for the United States’ sprinters. After some struggles in Beijing, many top U.S. athletes are aiming to regain their luster at this summer's world championships in Berlin.

"We're pretty much known as the powerhouse country," said LaShawn. "If any athlete is like me, you still want to be known as the powerhouse country."

Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt has mused that his next challenge might be going after the world record in the men's 400 meters. LaShawn, Olympic champion of the event, had this to say:

"If he steps up, he'll get a lane, I'll have a lane and we'll go at it. And the best man's going to win."

Both LaShawn and Bolt are scheduled to compete during June 11 at the Festival of Excellence meet in Toronto.

They won’t be racing each other, however, as LaShawn will be running the 400m, his specialty, while Bolt will compete in the 100m.

One reason why LaShawn chose to participate in the Festival of Excellence is that he’s never been to Canada. Also, count LaShawn among those looking forward to watching Bolt in action.

"He's going to get a crowd riled up," he said.

"He's going to perform. You know he's definitely going to perform. He's exciting to watch because he's having fun with it."

Tyson Gay back in the running (New York Daily News, May 31, 2009)
Gay returns with 19.58, six world leads in New York (IAAF.org, May 31, 2009)
Merritt's prepared to race all comers, even Bolt ... if he dares (Toronto Star, May 29, 2009)

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