Steven Solomon and Donald Sanford produced a thrilling 400m men’s final on the first night of the track and field competition on Wednesday at Hadar Yosef.
Both Aussie Solomon and Sanford broke the Maccabiah record, but the Israeli sensation surged home to clock 45.65, with Solomon second with 46.46 in front of a great crowd and a gaggle of media interested in two of the Games’ biggest stars going head-to-head.
Both just missed the B-qualifying mark of 45.60 to gain a spot in the individual 400m for the upcoming World Championships in Moscow in August, but it was a magical Maccabiah moment, both for the class performance on and off the track.
For Solomon, missing the gold was tempered by the satisfaction of continuing his return from a back injury, which he has had to juggle with his first year studying medicine at Stanford University.
“This year was made very tough by an injury that just happens in sport,” Steve said after the race. “I’ll come back. It’s been a really tough road; mental as much as physical. But I’m confident I’ll come back to where I was and improve on that pretty soon, hopefully.”
Solomon was obviously down on his mesmerizing personal best of 44.97 in London, but he said that doesn’t bother him at all.
“Running fast is not my priority at the moment,” Steve added. “Staying healthy is; really nursing my injury and building the strength so that it doesn’t happen again.”
He added regarding Israel: “It’s my second time and hopefully not my last. I want to come back hopefully as many times as my schedule fits.”