Olympian Steven Gardiner has already registered personal bests in his two specialty events (200-metre (m) and 400m) so far this season, and although this year is viewed as an “off year” in athletics, seeing that there are no major international championships, the 22-year-old said he wants to lower his personal bests again before the year ends.
Gardiner clocked a personal best in the 200m in April in Miami, Florida at the 2018 Miami Hurricanes Alumni Invitational at the University of Miami.
Gardiner erased Michael Mathieu’s previous national record of 20.16 seconds, clocking 19.75 seconds. He also broke his own 400m record in May, dipping below the 44-second barrier for the second time, with a world-leading time of 43.87 seconds in Doha, Qatar.
“I have been spending a lot of time working to get my 200 together, because ultimately, it’s what makes me a faster 400 runner,” Gardiner said in an interview with Eyewitness News Sports.
“Who knows, maybe one day in the future we can try for a double, but I don’t want to rush into anything just yet. The day I ran that 200, my coach came to me and said I was going to run fast.
“I didn’t know how fast though. He was thinking like 19.90 or just below, but we did even better at 19.75. So, for the remainder of the year, my goal is to probably get down to about 43.60 in the 400 and around 19.50 seconds in the 200. The times are fast, but I think we can get it.”
Gardiner is also currently in the mix for the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Diamond League title in both events.
“As far as the Diamond League goes, it would be good to compete and win the league title, but I also want to take things event by event,” he added.
“I don’t want to rush straight into the final, when I might not be ready. So, I’m going by the way my body feels and just looking to continue to keep running fast times.”