Greene smashes through barrier to new class

It was not long after Dai Greene had become the European 400m hurdles champion in emphatic fashion in Barcelona that the Swansea Harrier looked ahead to the challenge of closing the gap on the global elite of his event. "I'll need to run under 48 seconds to win a medal," he said, turning his attention to the World Championships in Daegu next year and to the Olympic Games on home ground in 2012.

Five weeks on, Greene smashed through the 48 seconds barrier for the first time on the opening day of the IAAF Continental Cup in Split yesterday. In doing so, the Llanelli athlete came within a whisker of Kriss Akabusi's 18-year-old British record, clocked the fastest time in the quadrennial team competition since the great Ed Moses, and beat some of the latter day best in the world. In a global context, it was a quantum leap of a performance.

In Barcelona, Greene, 24, took the gold medal ahead of his fellow-Welshman and training partner Rhys Williams in a lifetime best of 48.12sec, matching David Hemery's winning time from the Mexico Olympics in 1968. Yesterday, representing Europe in the competition formerly known as the World Cup, he took another step up in class. Greene snatched a dramatic victory in the last 20m, after Bershawn Jackson of the USA messed up at the final hurdle.

His winning time, 47.88sec, was just 0.06sec shy of the British record Akabusi set when claiming Olympic bronze in Barcelona in 1992. It was also the fastest time in the competition since Moses won in Rome in 1981 in 47.37sec and the first win by a Briton in the men's 400m hurdles. Jon Ridgeon finished runner-up in Havana in 1992, while Akabusi (Barcelona 1989) and Chris Rawlinson (Madrid 2002) both claimed third places.

"I've been fighting for a time like that all season, and it came when I least expected it to," Greene said. "If anything, my training has been getting even better since Barcelona."

In second and third behind Greene were the men who filled the same positions behind the victorious Kerron Clement of the USA at the World Championships in Berlin last summer. The Puerto Rican Javier Culson finished runner-up in 48.08sec and Jackson was third in 48.62sec. Jackson heads the world rankings for the 400m hurdles this year, with 47.32sec, and lined up with an unbeaten streak of six races behind him.

Greene's British team-mate Michael Bingham finished third in the 400m yesterday, clocking a season's best of 44.84sec. Mark Lewis-Francis finished third in the 100m in 10.16sec, a season's best for him, in a race won by Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre in 10.08sec. Martyn Bernard was third in the high jump, clearing 2.25m.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?