July 28, 1996 in Sports

Johnson Tunes Up For History On Own Terms

Associated Press
 

Michael Johnson did another warmup Saturday night for what seems like an inevitable gold medal in the 400 meters, this time working on his finishing kick.

Unlike his race in the first round, Johnson started out slow and was actually running in the middle of the pack halfway through the second-round heat. But he turned it up a notch to win with a time of 44.62 seconds.

“It felt pretty good,” Johnson said. “It felt easy. I ran a different race than I ran yesterday. I didn’t go out as hard as I did yesterday. I just wanted to run a different race today, work on a different part.”

It’s all designed so he’ll be at his best for the finals Monday night, which he hopes will be the first half of a historic double. Johnson is trying to become the first man to win the 200 and 400 in the same Olympics.

“It gives me confidence going into the final that I can win from anywhere, whether I’m in the back at the 200 mark or in front,” he said.

Johnson still must race in the semifinals today.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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