Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas in the Men's 400m Heats at the 2023 World Athletics Championships

BUDAPEST, Hungary (August 20) – The men’s 400m heats at the World Athletics Championships on Sunday witnessed some quality early championship performances from seasoned athletes Steven Gardiner, Wayde van Niekerk, and Kirani James. Young talent Havard Ingvaldsen of Norway also made a notable mark.

With the absence of 2022 world champion Michael Norman in Budapest, the stage is set for the crowning of a new champion.

However, the competition remains fierce with the presence of three past winners, all of whom clinched victories in their respective heats.

Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas, the Olympic champion and 2019 world titleholder, led the first of the six heats with a time of 44.65 seconds. He was closely followed by Japan’s Kentaro Sato and Hungary’s Attila Molnar, both setting national records with times of 44.77 and 44.84 seconds respectively.

South African Wayde van Niekerk, the world record holder and winner of the 2015 and 2017 championships, secured the top spot in the second heat, clocking 44.57 seconds. He was trailed by Great Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith, who finished in 44.69 seconds.

Grenada’s Kirani James, the 2011 gold medalist, emerged victorious in the fourth heat with a time of 44.91 seconds, edging out Japan’s Fuga Sato, who set a personal best of 44.97 seconds.

However, the standout performance came from Norway’s Havard Ingvaldsen. The 20-year-old not only set a new personal best but also broke the national record, finishing in a swift 44.39 seconds, placing him sixth on the European all-time list.

Other notable victories included Jamaica’s Antonio Watson, who finished in 44.77 seconds, and Botswana’s Bayapo Ndori, who clocked 44.72 seconds.

The Men’s 400m Heats Results:

Heat 1:

  1. Steven Gardiner (BAH) – 44.65 – Qualified (Q)
  2. Kentaro Sato (JPN) – 44.77 – Qualified (Q) – National Record (NR)
  3. Attila Molnár (HUN) – 44.84 – Qualified (Q)
  4. Zakithi Nene (RSA) – 44.88
  5. Michael Joseph (LCA) – 45.04
  6. Aruna Dharshana (SRI) – 45.70
  7. Bonface Ontuga Mweresa (KEN) – 45.91

Heat 2:

  1. Wayde Van Niekerk (RSA) – 44.57 – Qualified (Q) – Season’s Best (SB)
  2. Matthew Hudson-Smith (GBR) – 44.69 – Qualified (Q) – Season’s Best (SB)
  3. Liemarvin Bonevacia (NED) – 44.78 – Qualified (Q) – Personal Best (PB)
  4. Busang Collen Kebinatshipi (BOT) – 44.80
  5. Elián Larregina (ARG) – 45.42
  6. Alonzo Russell (BAH) – 46.95
  7. Anthony José Zambrano (COL) – Disqualified (DQ) – Lane infringement

Heat 3:

  1. Håvard Bentdal Ingvaldsen (NOR) – 44.39 – Qualified (Q) – National Record (NR)
  2. Vernon Norwood (USA) – 44.87 – Qualified (Q)
  3. Jereem Richards (TTO) – 45.15 – Qualified (Q)
  4. Dylan Borlée (BEL) – 45.24
  5. Oleksandr Pohorilko (UKR) – 45.37
  6. João Coelho (POR) – 45.38
  7. Jonathan Jones (BAR) – 46.03

Heat 4:

  1. Kirani James (GRN) – 44.91 – Qualified (Q) – Personal Best (PB)
  2. Fuga Sato (JPN) – 44.97 – Qualified (Q)
  3. Zandrion Barnes (JAM) – 44.98 – Qualified (Q)
  4. Davide Re (ITA) – 45.07 – Season’s Best (SB)
  5. Leungo Scotch (BOT) – 45.20
  6. Dubem Nwachukwu (NGR) – 45.60
  7. Gustav Lundholm Nielsen (DEN) – 45.66

Heat 5:

  1. Antonio Watson (JAM) – 44.77 – Qualified (Q)
  2. Quincy Hall (USA) – 44.86 – Qualified (Q)
  3. Yuki Joseph Nakajima (JPN) – 45.15 – Qualified (Q)
  4. Lythe Pillay (RSA) – 45.58
  5. Lionel Spitz (SUI) – 45.69
  6. Karol Zalewski (POL) – 46.53
  7. Christopher O’Donnell (IRL) – 46.76

Heat 6:

  1. Bayapo Ndori (BOT) – 44.72 – Qualified (Q) – Personal Best (PB)
  2. Alexander Doom (BEL) – 44.92 – Qualified (Q)
  3. Zandrion Barnes (JAM) – 45.05 – Qualified (Q)
  4. Lucas Carvalho (BRA) – 45.34
  5. Manuel Sanders (GER) – 45.34
  6. Matěj Krsek (CZE) – 45.99
  7. Bryce Deadmon (USA) – 46.20

Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas in the Men’s 400m Heats at the 2023 World Athletics Championships. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images for World Athletics

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