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Olympic countdown: Michael Norman, a rising star with patience (Profile)

New Delhi : If Michael Norman were to be defined by a word and a sentence, don’t look further than his Twitter bio. ‘PATIENCE’ written 13 times in capital letters is unusual for a speed-loving sprinter who is the only one in the USA to run sub-10, sub-20 and sub-44 in 100m, 200m and 400m respectively.Under the 13 words of ‘PATIENCE’ comes “TRUST THE PROCESS” with a rose emoji. Norman is aware about the world-class standards he has set in 400m and staunchly believes that his process will bring him the desired result in his first Olympics at Tokyo.Born to an American father and a Japanese mother in San Diego, Norman has been an up-and-coming runner from his high school days. As an 18-year-old, Norman sent shockwaves by defeating veteran sprinter Justin Gatlin in the semi-finals of 200m at the Olympic Trials for Rio 2016.Though he would go on to finish fifth in the final, Norman would go on to win the gold in 200m with a championship record of 20.17 seconds at the 2017 World Junior Championships in Poland. He also won a gold in 4x100m relay with a timing of 38.93s.The University of Southern California graduate has been a force to reckon with in the 400m since 2018. As Olympic champion and world record holder Wayde van Niekerk was down with injuries, Norman got his chance to shine bright.He registered the best timing for 2018 (43.61s) and 2019 (43.51s) respectively. He was tipped to be the winner at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. But an injury saw him miss out on semi-final with a finish on 22nd at 45.94 seconds. Norman ended 2019 by being the overall winner of 400m in Diamond League at Brussels.This year, Norman has been in the top three of the 400m races he ran. He won in Doha at the Diamond League meet in May with a timing of 44.27 seconds. At the Olympic Trials, Norman clocked 45.18s followed by 44.73 and came first in the final with a season best of 44.07, the second best this year.Being patient and trusting the process has paid off for Norman, who will now go to Tokyo looking to mesmerise the world with his speed and energy.



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