Michael Norman, a Japanese American sprinter, won the gold medal in the men’s 400 meters on Friday at the World Athletics Championships.
According to The Oregonian, Norman won the race with a time of 44.29 seconds. It is his first international gold medal.
Both of Norman’s parents ran track growing up. According to NBC Olympics, his father is black, and his mother is Japanese. Norman learned Japanese before going to the Tokyo Olympics.
Norman broke records as a sprinter at Vista Murrieta High and the University of Southern California. Now, he is looking to take his success to the next level.
But it hasn’t been easy. The former USC sprinter was hurt at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. He also did not have the Tokyo Olympics he hoped for. A hurt tendon forced him to finish fifth in the 400 meters at, The Los Angeles Times reports.
“Doha was kind of just a reminder of a welcome to the pro leagues,” Norman told The Los Angeles Times. “I suffered injuries; it’s part of the sport and part of life and track and field. But Tokyo was a slap in the face. That one stung. I probably went through every emotion from the Tokyo final to probably like January — frustration, anger, everything.”
This first international gold medal is a culmination of Norman’s hard work.
“The last couple of years he’s suffered a couple of setbacks,” his father told The Los Angeles Times. “To see him achieve his goal, it’s hard to describe. I told him, ‘You finally got your gold, and you worked hard for it.’ ”
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