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Michael Norman will not defend 400m title at track and field worlds

Michael Norman

Happy Michael NORMAN of USA after winning the Men’s 400m during the SILESIA Kamila Skolimowska Memorial 2022, part of the 2022 Diamond League series at Slaski Stadium in Chorzow. On Saturday, August 07 2022, in Slaski Stadium, Chorzow, Silesian Voivodeship, Poland. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

NurPhoto via Getty Images

Michael Norman will not defend his 400m title at the world track and field championships that start on Saturday.

“After an extremely frustrating season I’ve decided to step away from track for the remainder of the 2023 season in order to refocus for the 2024 Paris Olympics,” was posted on Norman’s social media.

Norman last raced at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships on July 6, placing eighth in his first-round heat of the 100m.

After that race, Norman said he dealt with “setback after setback” this season, including tendonitis. He also switched coaches in May from Quincy Watts to John Smith (who coached Watts to 1992 Olympic 400m gold).

Norman was asked on July 6 if he planned to use his bye into the 400m at worlds as defending champion and said, “We’ll see.”

Before the season, Norman said he was moving down from the 400m to the 100m, but that “in a world where things go absolutely terrible” in the shorter distance, he planned to use his 400m bye into worlds.

Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas is the world’s fastest man in the 400m this season. Gardiner, the 2019 World champion and Tokyo Olympic gold medalist, missed last year’s worlds due to a tendon injury.